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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Mon, October 4th, 2021 - 7:00AM
Expires
Tue, October 5th, 2021 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
CNFAIC Staff
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Winter is on its way!

The days are getting shorter and the mountains whiter…that must mean the 2021/22 winter season is near!

Here are a few early season updates from the Chugach NF Avalanche Center:

  • The Avalanche Center will begin issuing intermittent snow, weather and avalanche updates as conditions warrant from mid/late October through mid November.
  • Daily avalanche forecasts are planned to begin around Thanksgiving week – pending an unseasonable chilly fall, which might demand an earlier start.

Early Season Conditions and Avalanches:  We’ve already had a report of one human triggered avalanche in the Turnagain Pass region. This was on Oct 1st in Tincan’s Common Bowl. More on this below.

Upcoming Events:
The Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop 2021 will be held Friday, Nov 12th from noon to 430pm, virtual on Zoom! Check on all those details at akavalancheworkshop.org

*REMEMBER, the best way to keep tabs on current events/information for the early season is on our Facebook  page and  Instagram!!*

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Mon, October 4th, 2021
Alpine
Above 2,500'
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Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
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Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
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Alpine
Above 2,500'
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Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
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Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
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Danger Scale:
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Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Recent Avalanches

On Friday, October 1st, a snowboarder triggered a slab avalanche in Common Bowl on Tincan. The slab was around 16″ deep and 200′ wide. It failed on a weak layer that is believed to be older faceted snow under the new 1.5 feet (ish) of snow from the end September. The rider stayed well in front of the moving debris and was not caught. Their partner was able to catch the event on video (seen below). We are thankful for the sharing of information, especially now when the avalanche center is not yet fully operational.

Tincan Common avalanche seen from below. 10.01.21 by B.S.

Please take a look at the full report HERE.

Early season avalanches do happen, even if there is not all that much snow on the ground. Right now there is roughly 2-3′ at 3,000′ and maybe 6″ near the parking lots. We don’t have much information yet, and appreciate any observations from folks getting out!

A quick reminder of those famous signs of instability – The Red Flags:

    • Recent avalanches
    • Cracking/whumpfing in the snow around you
    • Changes in weather: Strong wind, snowfall and/or rain

Heading out during, or right after, a snowfall is the most dangerous time and when avalanches are most likely to occur. This is especially important to realize for hunters and others that may not have avalanches in the forefront of their minds.

Snowfall to date @ Turnagain Pass 2,500′ – 3,500′:
Sept 22-24 storm:  16-20″ snow, ~2 – 2.5″ of SWE
Sept 30-Oct1 storm:  12-16″ snow, ~1-1.5″ of SWE
Snow depth at the Turnagain Pass SNOTEL (1880′) as of Oct 4th:  18″
Snow depth reported by observers as of Oct 3rd:  2-3′

With the early season snow falling on a warm ground, it’s no surprise A LOT of glide cracks and some releases are being reported. Note the photo below sent in Oct 3rd of the NW corner of Magnum Ridge, seen from the Sunburst approach. A big thanks to Katie S for her report on these glides, and many others around Turnagain Pass, HERE.

Glide cracks on NW Magnum. 10.03.21 by Katie S.


Avalanche Gear:
  This is a great time to make sure your avalanche rescue gear is in order.

  • Does your shovel and probe assemble properly? Any parts rusted and/or worn out?
  • Does your beacon have fresh batteries and terminals not corroded?
  • Brush up on how to use your avalanche beacon – turn it on, does it pick up another beacon properly and vice versa?
  • Comms? Is you InReach a go, your radio, or any other communication devises you use?

As the season gets underway, let’s do our best at minimizing our risk in the mountains! Another storm system is looking to hit later this week (Thur Oct 6th to Sat Oct 9th). As always, let us know what you are finding out there.

Observations
Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
01/29/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Backdoor
01/28/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst
01/28/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Seattle Ridge
01/28/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Common
01/27/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst
01/27/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Lynx Creek
01/25/23 Turnagain Observation: Cornbiscuit
01/22/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Tincan
01/21/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Seattle Ridge
01/21/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Lynx drainage – avalanche
Riding Areas
Updated Fri, January 06th, 2023

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
Opened Dec 13th.
Placer River
Closed
Closed Jan 5th due to lack of snow (holiday storms rained away the snow at sea level).
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Closed Jan 5th due to lack of snow (holiday storms rained away the snow at sea level).
Turnagain Pass
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Twentymile
Closed
Closed Jan 5th due to lack of snow (holiday storms rained away the snow at sea level).
Seward District
Carter Lake
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Lost Lake Trail
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Primrose Trail
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed to motorized use for the 2022/23 winter season per Forest Plan. Open next season.
Snug Harbor
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Summit Lake
Open
Opened Dec 13th.

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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.