Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, January 6th, 2022 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, January 7th, 2022 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Sykes
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW on all aspects and elevations today. Triggering an avalanche is unlikely, but lingering wind slabs in steep terrain could still exist. The winds died down as of Monday so these pockets of wind slab should be stubborn to trigger. On steep terrain 3-5″ of new snow on top of an ice crust could cause dry loose avalanches (sluffs), which have the potential to knock you off balance but are not large enough to bury a person.

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Thu, January 6th, 2022
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

Another day of cold and clear weather with no major changes to the avalanche conditions. We are in a period of normal caution, where triggering an avalanche is unlikely but there are still hazards out there that we need to look out for. Over the past week a melt freeze crust formed on all aspects and elevations up to about 5000′ followed by 3-5″ of snow on top of the frozen crust that was then redistributed by strong NW outflow winds. In areas that were exposed to the winds the snow surface is mostly scoured back down to the crust. In protected areas or wind loaded terrain there is still some soft snow to be found.

Lingering Wind Slabs – The best chance of finding an avalanche right now is in steep wind loaded terrain where a pocket of wind slab up to a foot thick could release and run on the icy bed surface. These wind slabs could still be triggered by a person due to the cold temps and crust underneath, but it has been several days since the winds died down so they should become less reactive with time.

Dry Loose – In steep terrain where the wind has not stripped away the new snow it is possible that dry loose avalanches will run fast and far along the crust. With only 3-5″ of new snow over the crust these will be relatively low volume but a dry loose avalanche could be enough to cause a fall in steeper terrain.

With the current avalanche conditions being pretty static, we can start to think about what things will look like this weekend when we should get our first significant snow load in the past few weeks. The combination of an icy crust topped with a few inches of new snow that has been turning into facets during this week of cold weather could create a recipe for unstable avalanche conditions if a new load is rapidly added. In addition, we have seen some surface hoar forming at valley bottom elevations which could contribute to the new snow not bonding well to the existing snow surface. Overall, the surface conditions are quite variable right now with a mix of crust, wind hardened snow, and loose faceted snow that could cause a high degree of spatial variability with the avalanche conditions after the next storm. Stay tuned for more updates on surface conditions and snowfall estimates as the next storm approaches.

Mix of wind affected snow, crust, and pockets of soft snow left over from New Year’s weekend. Photo 1.5.22

Surface hoar at valley bottom elevations could add to the potentially unstable conditions if we get a new load of snow this weekend. Photo 1.5.22

 

 

Weather
Thu, January 6th, 2022

Yesterday: Cold and clear with calm to light winds. Some localized bands of clouds developed through the day but overall it was a beautiful and cold winter day.

Today: More of the same on tap for today. Temperatures should stay in the single digits with light winds in the 5-10 mph range.

Tomorrow: One more day of calm and cold weather on Friday before a low pressure system starts to impact our area through the weekend. Winds will shift to the east Friday evening and cloud cover will start to build overnight and through the day on Saturday. Snowfall looks to start Saturday evening and could persist for several days. The exact timing and amount of snowfall is still uncertain, but this looks like a storm that could favor our area.

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

Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 10 0 0 64
Summit Lake (1400′) -2 0 0 23
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 9 0 0 38

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 9 W 4 11
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 11 E 3 10
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Riding Areas
Updated Wed, December 01st, 2021

Status of riding areas across the Chugach NF is managed by the Glacier and Seward Ranger Districts, not avalanche center staff. Riding area information is posted as a public service to our users and updated based on snow depth and snow density to prevent resource damage at trailhead locations. Riding area questions contact: mailroom_r10_chugach@fs.fed.us

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
Open
Open as of Dec 1st.
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Open
Open as of Dec 1st. Limited parking due to Portage curve construction.
Skookum Drainage
Open
Open as of Dec 1st. Limited parking due to Portage curve construction.
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Open
Open as of Saturday, Nov 27. Be aware of early season hazards (alders/creeks) and open water.
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Open
Open as of Dec 1st.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Open
Open as of Dec 1st.
Lost Lake Trail
Open
Open as of Dec 1st.
Primrose Trail
Open
Open as of Dec 1st.
Resurrection Pass Trail
Open
Open as of Dec 1st.
Snug Harbor
Open
Open as of Dec 1st.
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Open
Open as of Dec 1st.
Summit Lake
Open
Open as of Dec 1st.

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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.