Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Saturday, November 29th 2014 7:00 am by John Fitzgerald
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW today in the alpine and treeline elevations.  New snow falling througout the day will build very small and isolated pockets of slab up to 6" deep in upper elevation leeward starting zones.  Below treeline there is minimal snow cover and travel on skis or a board is not recommended.

Early season hazards-rocks, stumps, and a slick crust require careful travel in the mountains today.

 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
1 Low Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
0 NO RATING Below Treeline / Below 1,000'
Avalanche Problem 1

With forecasted snow amounts in the 2-4” range, expect your main issue to continue to be early season hazards.  This new snow will come to rest on a layer of weak snow, but is not quite enough to warrant heightened concern.  Keep in mind that LOW danger does not mean ‘no’ danger. 

Be on the lookout for isolated pockets of slab in the higher elevations to build to a max depth of 6” today.  These slabs will be scattered in favored locations and not continuous enough to be a significant issue.

Loose snow sluffing is also possible in very steep terrain.  4-8" of older low density snow on the surface has shown to be well bonded to the crust below.  There is still the chance of finding areas on slopes over 40 degrees where sluffing of the new & old snow could be a concern.  As with the isolated pockets mentioned above, any sluffs that might be triggered will be very low in volume.

Mountain Weather

It has now been a full week since the last measurable snowfall in the mountains.  Winds have remained generally calm during this period as well.  Temperatures have been more winter like allowing for preservation of the snow that sits on the ground.

Today a weakening Low pressure system is bringing moisture from the Southwest.  The orientation of this band of precip will favor Hatcher Pass and Anchorage.  Turnagain will receive the leftovers; enough to drop 2-4” of snow in the mountains.  Winds will be light out of the Southeast at 5-10 mph.  Temperatures at 1,000’ will be in the low 30s F while ridgetops will be in the mid 20s F.

Snow should taper off by tonight as a short lived ridge of high pressure will build into the area.  The extended outlook points to more precip in the form of snow as we head into the early part of next week.

PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am - 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880')  27  trace  .1 17
Summit Lake (1400')  25  0  0  1
Alyeska Mid (1700')  28  0  0  9


RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am - 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812') 24  var  3  15
Seattle Ridge(2400')  24  S  10  20

This is a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (this advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).

Winter snowmachine use open/closed status and riding conditions updates

Riding status is not associated with avalanche danger. An area will be open to motorized use in accordance to the Forest Management Plan when snow coverage is adequate to protect underlying vegetation. Backcountry hazards including avalanche hazard are always present regardless of the open status of motorized use areas.

(Updated: Oct 05, 2019 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: ClosedClosed
Placer River: ClosedClosed
Skookum Drainage: ClosedClosed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedClosed
Twentymile: ClosedClosed
Seward District
Carter Lake: ClosedClosed
Lost Lake Trail: ClosedClosed
Primrose Trail: ClosedClosed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed. Will be open for the 2019/20 season pending adequate snow cover.
Snug Harbor: ClosedClosed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: ClosedClosed
Summit Lake: ClosedClosed

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The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory provided by the Chugach National Forest, in partnership with Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

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