Numerous small wet loose avalanches observed Tuesday February 26th from 4500′-5000′ elevation on south and southwest aspects in the Rock Gardens and off the Pinnacle
Numerous small and large wet loose avalanches observed on Wednesday February 27th, that are believed to have occurred Tuesday February 26th. Marmot, southwest to west aspect, ~4000′.
A diurnal, spring-time weather cycle will continue through the weekend. Cool temperatures at night will allow the snowpack to freeze and lock up, while the day time, warm temperatures and direct solar, will increase the avalanche hazard each afternoon. At all elevations on southerly slopes steeper than 40°, it will be possible for human-triggered and natural wet loose avalanches with the potential to entrain large amounts of snow. Wet loose avalanche activity peaked with the initial warming, causing widespread natural wet loose avalanches on steep, southerly aspects across Hatcher Pass on Monday February 25th and Tuesday February 26th. Wet loose avalanches may carry a person into terrain traps, compounding the hazard. Look for signs the snow is warming and potentially becoming unstable in the afternoon, such as rollerballs coming off steep slopes or your skis or boots sinking into wet snow.
Widespread small (D1) to large (D2) wet loose avalanches have been observed on steep, southerly slopes. Many of these avalanches have run long distances and entrained large amounts of snow, such as these avalanches on the south aspect of Skyscraper at ~3500′.
Weather at 3450′ since Saturday 2/23:
Temperatures averaged 25°F, with a low of 18°F and a high of 35°F.
Winds averaged N 4 mph, max 6 mph. Max gusts recorded were N 10 mph .
There has been no snow recorded at Independence Mine.
Weather at 4500′ since Saturday 2/23:
Temperatures averaged 15°F, with a low of 19°F and a high of 37°F.
Winds averaged E to SSE 2 mph, max 6 mph. Gusts averaged E to SSE 4 mph, max gust 11 mph.
Stay tuned to the NOAA point forecast for an updated weather forecast each day. The best way to see if it’s snowing in Hatcher Pass is to look at the webcam snow stake HERE and the Independence Mine SNOTEL site HERE
State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information can be found here.