|Mon, February 12th, 2024
|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.
Several slab avalanches were reported on Saturday. Natural avalanches were reported and likely occurred during the night Friday or early morning Saturday on Frostbite (see photo below) and N Frostbite aka Moon Bowl.
One avalanche was reported and preliminary information is available about a wind slab that was human triggered on the north side of 4068′ on Saturday that caught, carried, and partially buried two people. No injuries have been reported.
|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
Strong southeast winds persisted on and off over the past 24 hours gusting 33 to 53 mph for 13+ hours at 4500′. Expect strong to extreme gusts to have transported low density snow and built new wind slabs on leeward aspects. Evidence of these new wind slabs was observed and reported on Saturday in several locations above 3000ft. Winds tapered late last night prior to receiving 4 inches of new snow with 0.4 inches of SWE at 3500 ft.
Expect wind slabs, 12 to 16 inches thick to be LIKELY to human trigger on southwest to northeast aspects above 3000 ft today on slopes 35º and steeper. Winds were considerably stronger above 3000 ft and evidence of this avalanche problem will be more obvious at upper elevation. It will be unlikely to trigger a wind slab below 2500 ft. In some locations, wind slabs will be harder to identity because of new snow that fell early this morning. Natural avalanches are unlikely today. Most natural avalanche activity likely occurred during the peak intensity with winds on 2/10.
Pay close attention to wind transported snow and avoid steep wind drifted terrain. Shooting cracks and audible collapses are indicators of instability. Look for hard snow sitting over weaker snow, smooth and rounded or lens shaped features.
If you head into avalanche terrain today, utilize strict safety travel protocols, travel one at a time from safe zone to safe zone, only have one person on slope at a time, ensure all members of your party are carrying and know how to use beacons, shovels and probes, and avoid slopes with terrain traps.
Since 2300 on 2/10:
4″ new snow with 0.4″ SWE @3550′ IM
3″ new snow with 0.3″SWE@ 2700′ Frostbite
NWS AVG Forecast here.
NWS point forecast here.
Marmot Weather Station here.
Independence Mine Snotel here.
Frostbite Bottom Snotel here.
State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information here.
XC trail grooming report for Mat-Su, Anchorage, and Kenai here.