Chugach National Forest Glacier District – April 20th, 2017 – Still Good Riding on Sargent Ice Field – Whittier Access to High Glaciers Offers Spectacular Views and Good Snow.

Reported by: CNFAIC: Updated 21-Apr-2016

April 15, 2017

Whittier offers the best access to the high glaciers of Sargent Ice Field in the Chugach National Forest. 

Spectacular 35 mile trek from Whittier to the Wolverine Glacier, which overlooks Paradise Lakes valley and Nellie Juan River, which drains Northeast from the lake into Kings Bay.

Snow is excellent up high with vantages above 5000′ to survey the magnificent beauty. 

Along the way, you will pass Blackstone Bay, Burns Glacier, Skookum Glacier, Spencer Glacier, Trail Glacier and several other unnamed glaciers, ending at Wolverine.

This should be on your bucket list!

Video Segment:  Sargeant Ice Field

Sargent Ice Field – 35 Mile Trek from Whittier over to Wolverine Glacier

 

 

Photo Credit Jerry Siok
Overlooking Willard Island in Blackstone Bay – ASC Board Member Dave Agosti
Heading to Burns Glacier which drains into Portage Lake
By Jerry Siok
Ice Fall – Sargent Ice Field
Jerry Siok – Overlooking Blackstone Bay and Prince William Sound

 

 

 

april 1st  – Skookum valley is now closed per cnf forest order

The area got hit with 2′ deep wet snow earlier this week and riding was fun and laborious…right up until the closure.  why does this area close for april??  worth an inquiry to the cnf.  very unfortunate!

 

MARCH 21, 2017 – the dry spell is over.  Member Ride to Skookum glacier.  EPIC pow DAY!  pictures tell all you need to know!

March 12, 2017 above Whittier, Alasks
Wind packed and cold frozen snow seems to be the common story from riders in the Northern CNF area on MARCH 12, 2017
Whittier was no exception today with 5F degree temperatures in the morning with warming into the high 20’s by the afternoon. 
The snow started to soften up in the afternoon but spring riding is still a few weeks away.  See attached pictures.
 

Whittier 3/12/2017
 
Chugach national Forest Avalanche Information Center
 The Bottom Line

LOW avalanche danger remains in the backcountry at all elevations. Although triggering an avalanche is unlikely, it is not impossible. With today’s daytime warming watch for East-through-South-through-West-facing slopes to heat up enough to initiate rollerballs and possibly some shallow wet loose avalanches. Other things to watch for are old hard wind slabs in steep rocky terrain, dry sluffs on steep slopes with soft snow and cornice falls loosening with the warmth. Glide cracks continue to open – limiting exposure under these is recommended.

Remember that good travel habits remain important, even during ‘green light conditions’. This includes exposing only one person at a time on a slope, watching your partners closely and having an escape route planned in case the snow moves. 

Summit Lake, South of Johnson Pass and North (in parts of the Girdwood Valley):  A reminder that the snowpack remains thinner in these areas with a poor structure. The chance for triggering an avalanche that breaks in the old weak layers is unlikely but not nonexistent. Read the Saturday Summit Summary HERE.

Primary Concern

Yesterday was the warmest day we have seen in almost two weeks. There were no reports of wet loose avalanches or significant roller ball activity but Southerly surfaces were warming up and becoming wet/damp. Today will be another day to pay attention to surface conditions in the afternoon on East to South to West slopes. Steeper slopes and slopes under rock bands will be most suspect. Keep a close eye on any warming taking place on the snow surface. Soft snow still sits on many slopes and roller balls could occur in these areas and a there is chance of shallow wet loose avalanche activity. Slopes with old sun crusts or wind slabs/crusts will be slower to be affected by the warming. 

Other things to keep in mind if you are headed to the mountains to enjoy these long sunny days:

Glide Avalanches:
Glide cracks continue to slowly open above popular terrain on Seattle Ridge and in other areas of the advisory area. These could release at any time, watch for these cracks and avoid being under them.

Wind Slabs:
Old and hard winds slabs are easy to find but for the most part they are locked into place. Steep rocky areas, where they are not supported from below, will be the most suspect zones for someone to pop one out. 

Loose Snow Avalanches (Sluffs):
Watch your sluff. Dry sluffs on steep slopes are probable and are getting larger by the day. And, as mentioned above, wet loose (or damp) sluffs, both natural and human triggered, may occur.

Cornices:
Cornices may start to loosen with the warming – as always, give these monsters a wide berth from above and limit exposure time traveling underneath.

Persistent Slabs and Deep Slabs:
There are various weak layers in our thin snowpack. Buried surface hoar sits 1-3+’ below the surface and faceted snow sits in the mid and base of the pack. These weak layers with varying degrees of strength are in a dormant stage due to plenty of time to adjust with a lack of changing weather. Although this means the layers are not producing avalanches, it doesn’t mean an outlier can’t occur which could cause a large avalanche breaking deeper in the pack. 

Glide cracks North of the uptrack. A series of cracks like these extend out Seattle Ridge to the North at this elevation.

 

Avalanche Conditions:   For the latest and complete avalanche report and snow conditions for this area, please click the following  link to take you to Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC). 

Trail Status:  Under the same link above, open the Turnagain Pass Advisory and scroll down to the bottom of that page for the status of all motorized areas in the Northern district of Chugach National Forest.

Turnagain Pass Snowstake – DOT Road Weather Information System Camera

April 15, 2017 Turnagain Pass Area Weather Forecast – Severe Sunshine! ;)

Reported by: National Weather Service

 
 

National Weather Service Forecast for: 6 Miles ENE Silvertip AK
Issued by: National Weather Service Anchorage, AK
Updated: 6:08 pm AKDT Apr 15, 2017
 
 

Tonight

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 23. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm  after midnight.
Mostly Clear

Sunday

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 41. Calm wind.
Sunny

Sunday
Night
Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 24. Calm wind becoming west around 5 mph.
Partly Cloudy
Monday

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 42. Northwest wind around 5 mph.
Mostly Sunny

Monday
Night
Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 25. Northwest wind around 5 mph.
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 44.
Sunny

Tuesday
Night
Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 25.
Mostly Clear
Wednesday

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 42.
Sunny

Wednesday
Night
Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 27.
Mostly Clear
Lo 23 °F Hi 41 °F Lo 24 °F Hi 42 °F Lo 25 °F Hi 44 °F Lo 25 °F Hi 42 °F Lo 27 °F

 

Tonight
 
Mostly clear, with a low around 23. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight.
Sunday
 
Sunny, with a high near 41. Calm wind.
Sunday Night
 
Partly cloudy, with a low around 24. Calm wind becoming west around 5 mph.
Monday
 
Mostly sunny, with a high near 42. Northwest wind around 5 mph.
Monday Night
 
Partly cloudy, with a low around 25. Northwest wind around 5 mph.
Tuesday
 
Sunny, with a high near 44.
Tuesday Night
 
Mostly clear, with a low around 25.
Wednesday
 
Sunny, with a high near 42.
Wednesday Night
 
Mostly clear, with a low around 27.
Thursday
 
Sunny, with a high near 42.
Thursday Night
 
Partly cloudy, with a low around 27.
Friday
 
Partly sunny, with a high near 43.
Friday Night
 
A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31.
Saturday
 
A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 44.
 
 

NWS ZONE FORECAST FOR TURNAGAIN

Weather Summary:  CNFAIC WX Summary Page

For the latest updated weather report go to Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center  located at: http://www.cnfaic.org

 

Latest Surface Analysis
Click on image for link to source.
Latest Satellite Image
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Latest Kenai Radar
Click on image for link to source.
Latest Middleton Radar
Click on image for link to source.

 

Chugach State Park 13-April-2017 Update – All Areas Closed Except For Eklutna lake

Reported by: AK State parks (DNR)

Chugach State Park Winter Recreation – April 13th

chugachreport041317

Feb 21, 2017 Attn snowmachiners: The Hillside is now OPEN to snowmachines. Please pay attention to the signs and to the boundaries of where snowmachining is allowed! It’s been a while since we last opened so as a reminder here is the rundown:
ANCHORAGE HILLSIDE, South Fork of Campbell Creek (Powerline Pass)

Area Description: Snowmobilers must follow a designated two mile corridor beginning at Upper Huffman trailhead to access the open area. Beyond a sign posted at the two-mile mark, snowmobilers have access to the entire Powerline Valley. Williwaw Lakes Valley is not open to snowmobiles. Crossing over Ship or Powerline Pass will also result in violation. 11 AAC 20.040 (7)
Fee: $5 parking fee or annual day use pass.
Location: Following the signs from O’Malley Road to the Upper Huffman Trailhead. Trailhead is at the terminus of Sultana drive.
Special Features: Views of Alaska Range, Anchorage. Flat lower valley riding terrain and intermediate to advanced riding up valley.

FYI – This opening is subject to closure at any time depending on the level of snow pack.

Please note:

A $5 day-use fee or 2014 annual parking pass is required at most trailheads throughout the State park. The 2015 parking passes can be
purchased from park offices, park staff, and REI and online at alaskastateparks.org. 2016 passes now available online only!
Four-wheel drive and studded tires and/or chains are strongly recommended at most of the trail-head access points of  the park.
 
Back country users: Chugach State Park is an AVALANCHE HAZARD AREA. Be knowledgeable of the avalanche conditions and be sure and take your avalanche beacons, shovels, and probes and be knowledgeable on their use. BE PREPARED!!! The weather can change quickly and threaten your safety.  Remember hypothermia is a life-threatening condition. Safe traveling can prevent backcountry emergencies and costly searches and rescue. Always let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. Know the hazards of the backcountry you’re traveling in. Travel with a companion and carry a pack containing safety gear and emergency provisions.  Be safe and enjoy the park.
 
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Chugach National Forest Seward District – 3/26 – New Snow Forecast This Week

Reported by: CNFAIC 24-April-2016

March 26, 2017  – Unfortunately, Grouse Creek Divide Snotel didn’t report any new snow for the Nellie Juan / Lost Lake area in this past week, the same snowfall that dumped on Placer Valley and Skookum Valley.   New snow forecast to start tomorrow night!  Fingers crossed!  Forecast below.

Link:  NWS Forecast – Lost Lake / Nellie Juan Area

Tonight

  • Tonight: Scattered snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

    Scattered
    Snow Showers

    Low: 13 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: Snow showers likely, mainly after 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

    Snow Showers
    Likely

    High: 31 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: Snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 7. North wind around 5 mph becoming east after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

    Snow Showers
    Likely

    Low: 7 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 33. East wind around 5 mph.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    High: 33 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    Low: 14 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    High: 31 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: A chance of snow showers before 10pm, then a chance of snow after 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

    Chance Snow
    Showers

    Low: 22 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: A chance of snow before 4pm, then rain likely, possibly mixed with snow. Cloudy, with a high near 35.

    Chance Snow
    then
    Rain/Snow
    Likely

    High: 35 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Rain and snow likely, becoming all snow after 10pm. Cloudy, with a low around 24.

    Rain/Snow
    Likely then
    Snow Likely

    Low: 24 °F

    Feb 21, 2017 – Nellie Juan Area –  the snow was incredible.  I hear the wind and cold has deteriorated the snow considerably since that time.  Shame.  This was an epic day!

    TRAIL HEAD                    STATUS         COMMENTS

    CARTER LAKE                     OPEN

    LOST LAKE TRAIL              OPEN           AKA FIREHOUSE TRAIL

    PRIMROSE TRAIL               OPEN

    RESURRECTION TRAIL      CLOSED       ALTERNATING SEASONS

    SNUG HARBOR                    OPEN          CAUTION-AVALANCHE FATALITY NEAR VMAX  1/26 – AVALANCHE TERRAIN!  BE CAREFUL AND DONT HIGH-MARK THIS AREA!

    SOUTH FORK SNOW RVR   OPEN         NELLIE JUAN AREA

    SUMMIT LAKE                       OPEN

    FOR THE LATEST AVALANCHE INFORMATION IN THE CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST, GO TO WWW.CNFAIC.ORG Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center AND VIEW THE TURNAGAIN PASS AND SUMMIT LAKE AVALANCHE ADVISORY AREAS.  SCROLL DOWN TO BOTTOM OF PAGE FOR STATUS OF ALL MOTORIZED TRAIL OPENINGS.