|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
|Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.
|Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
|Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
|Likelihood of Avalanches
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.
|Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
|Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
|Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
|Avalanche Size and Distribution
|Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
|Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
|Very large avalanches in many areas.
|Size (D scale)
|Unlikely to bury a person
|Can bury a person
|Can destroy a house
|4 & 5
|Can destroy part or all of a village
A storm has moved into our region bringing strong winds, rain and heavy snow above 2000’. Overnight Easterly ridgetop winds increased into the 30s mph with gusts in the 60s mph. Winds will remain strong all day. An estimated 2-4” of snow has fallen overnight in the upper elevations of Turnagain and Girdwood. Portage has seen heavy rain. An additional 6-12” of new snow is expected in the upper elevations (0.6-0.8” of rain) for Girdwood and the North end of Turnagain Pass. Interior areas will see less precipitation. Wind slab size will depend on how much snow falls in the area you are traveling.
New snow will be falling on a variety of slick surfaces and bonding may be poor. Today’s visibility will make for difficult travel in the alpine due to blowing snow. Be on the lookout for shooting cracks and avoid slopes steeper than 35 degrees. Look for pillowed snow along ridgelines and be cautious of fresh drifts. Small natural wind slabs are possible in very steep channeled terrain due to the intensity of wind. Cornices will also be growing and could release naturally.
WET LOOSE: In the lower elevations below 2000’ triggering a wet loose avalanche will become possible as rain starts breaking down surface crusts. If the snow becomes wet and unsupportable avoid steep terrain features and terrain traps. **Keep in mind it’s springtime and be ready for wet loose activity in the alpine if the sun comes out and starts heating up the new snow. This is more likely further from the coast as the storm front moves out of the region.
Slick Crusts exist on W-S-E aspects in the alpine (left photo) and a 4-6″ of soft snow is sitting on near surface facets and buried surface hoar on some North aspects (photo on right.)
Corniced Ridge in Girdwood Valley – Cornices will be growing today with strong wind and new snow. Give these features lots of space along ridge lines and avoid being under them.
Although it has been several days since we have seen a glide crack release into an avalanche, avoiding/limiting travel under cracks is prudent! They can release at anytime, are completely unpredictable and can be very destructive. Identify existing cracks and plan your route to avoid being under a glide.
Yesterday: Skies were partly cloudy in the morning becoming mostly cloudy later in the day. Temperatures reached the mid-40Fs at sea level. Upper elevation temps were in the mid-20Fs to low-30s. Ridgtop winds were 5-15mph from the East building overnight into the 30mph with gust in the 60s. Rain started falling overnight and .2 € of SWE was recorded in Turnagain Pass with 1″ of wet snow. Bear Valley in Portage has recorded .7 € of rain in the last 24hrs. Rain/snow line is estimated around 1800′.
Today: In the upper elevation 6-12 € of snow is expected in the alpine, with 0.6-0.8 € rain at lower elevations. Rain/snow line should be around 2000′. Areas further from the coast will see less precip today. Easterly ridgetop winds are expected to be 35-50mph with stronger gusts. Temperatures at sea level will be in the mid-40Fs, temps along ridge tops may reach the upper-20Fs. As the storm moves out of the area, winds and precip will decrease overnight.
Tomorrow: Scattered rain and snow showers are expected – light rain below 2000′ and a few inches of snow possible in the upper elevations. Easterly Ridgetop winds will be 10-20mph.Temperatures at sea level will be in the mid-40Fs and ridgetop temps in the low-30Fs during the day.
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin
|Observation: Lynx creek
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Moderow / Clayton
|Observation: Turnagain (below the uptrack)
|Alaska Avalanche School Moto Level 2
|John Sykes Forecaster
|Observation: Tincan Backdoor, Center Ridge
|AAS Level 1 / R Sullivan
|Avalanche: Tincan Trees
|Schauer/ Moderow/ Stephenson Forecaster
|Schauer/ Moderow/ Clayton Forecaster