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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Fri, January 7th, 2022 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, January 8th, 2022 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger remains LOW at all elevations. Triggering an avalanche is unlikely in the majority of the forecast zone. There could still be a chance however a person might find and trigger a small old wind slab on a crust in upper elevation steep terrain. Additionally, small sluffs on steep slopes harboring several inches of loose snow over a crust may also be triggered.

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Fri, January 7th, 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

With continued quiet and chilly weather, the snowpack remains generally stable and we are in a Normal Caution regime. The two small avalanche issues one might encounter on steep slopes are some old lingering wind slabs and even a small sluff or two. The amount of debris that could be generated is not likely to be enough to bury a person, more likely to knock someone off their feet.

Old shallow wind slabs:  These are shallow, less than a foot deep, and found in isolated areas in the upper elevation terrain. They are most likely sitting on a crust and, due to being many days old, should be fairly stubborn to trigger.

Small loose snow avalanches:  Small sluffs may be triggered on any steep slope with several inches of loose snow over the crust.

The surface of the snowpack is our focus now as this will be our future weak layer once buried. The several inches of windblown snow over the New Year’s crust is faceting and becoming looser and the crust itself is being eaten away in places by the cold temperatures. In short, the surface is quite variable. The crust is anywhere from very thin and breakable to over an inch thick and supportable. To cap it all off, a batch of surface hoar is forming; how large the feathers will get in the start zones will be a question to answer the next couple of days.

Thicker and thinner crusts that were found next to each other on Sunburst earlier this week. Photo Andy Moderow, 1.2.22.

 

Wind effect in the Summit Lake area (Colorado Pk). Photo taken by Alex McLain, 1.6.22.

The big news we are all waiting for is: when is it going to snow again…?! There is a pattern change coming soon, but it’s looking like it’s being pushed back to Sunday into Monday. Weather models are showing a warm(ish) storm system pushing in late on Sunday that could bring heavy snowfall to Turnagain Pass and rain to sea level through the early part of next week. There is still a lot of uncertainty to the snow amounts and rain/snow line, but it should warm us up and hopefully make for some better riding and skiing conditions in places away from the impending avalanche hazards that will come along with the new snow.

Weather
Fri, January 7th, 2022

Yesterday:  Mostly clear skies with light to moderate NW winds (5-10mph) were over the region. Temperatures remained cold, single digits along ridgelines and minus single digits in valley bottoms.

Today:  Another sunny day is forecast today. Ridgetop winds will remain NW in the 5-15mph range before turning easterly tonight. Temperatures are still in the -20 to 0F realm in valley bottoms this morning, but have warmed overnight along ridgelines and are in the 20’s above zero – a fairly significant inversion. Valley bottoms should warm several degrees through today.

Tomorrow:  Partly cloudy skies, some fog, and light easterly winds are forecast for Saturday. Temperatures should slowly begin to warm tomorrow ahead of the next weather system moving in on Sunday. Snowfall is expected late Sunday through the early part of next week. Stay tuned.

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

Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 4 0 0 63
Summit Lake (1400′) -11 0 0 23
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 2 0 0 38

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 14 W 9 18
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 8 N 2 5
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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.
Placer River
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.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Open as of Saturday, Nov 27. Be aware of early season hazards (alders/creeks) and open water.
Twentymile
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.