Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
The avalanche danger remains MODERATE above 1000′. It is possible to trigger a very large avalanche on a layer of weak sugary snow buried 3-5′ deep. These avalanches can also be triggered remotely (from above, below, or to the sides of steeper terrain). Conservative terrain selection and awareness of steeper slopes above you is the best way to manage this avalanche hazard.
The avalanche danger is LOW below 1000′. Be aware of steeper slopes above you because avalanches releasing at higher elevations could run to valley bottoms. There is thin snow cover at lower elevations and the main hazards are shallowly buried vegetation causing difficult travel and partially frozen creeks and wetlands.
|Signal Word||Size (D scale)||Simple Descriptor|
|Small||1||Unlikely to bury a person|
|Large||2||Can bury a person|
|Very Large||3||Can destroy a house|
|Historic||4 & 5||Can destroy part or all of a village|
Today will bring another day of calm weather, with cloud cover being the limiting factor but the visibility should improve throughout the day. It has been over a week since our last significant snowfall and other than some wind loading events the forecast area has been largely quiet since then in terms of avalanche activity. While the faceted weak layers buried 3-5′ deep have been gaining some strength during that time it typically takes weeks or longer for this type of weak layer to stop being possible to trigger. The lack of recent avalanche activity could start to lure us into a false sense of security about the stability of our faceted weak layer, but it is important to remember that deep persistent slabs are defined by their lack of feedback before producing large and destructive avalanches.
Here are some of the common characteristics of a deep persistent slabs:
These characteristics are what make deep persistent slabs so hard to evaluate and manage. The potential to trigger one of these avalanches has probably decreased over the last week but we are still seeing poor structure in our snowpack and signs of propagation in stability tests (videos from Magnum and Cornbiscuit). Triggering a deep slab is easier in areas with a thin snowpack, which is the case in the southern portion of the forecast area and even more so as you get closer to Summit Lake. Most of the avalanche activity we have seen on this layer is in the 1,500 to 3,000′ elevation band.
To minimize your exposure to this avalanche problem we recommend steering clear of large slopes with slope angles greater than 30° and being aware of steeper slopes above you. If you decide to step out into avalanche terrain it is wise to follow safe travel protocols, like having only one person at a time in avalanche terrain and always spotting your partners.
Our basic snowpack structure between 1500 – 3000′. Photo from Cornbiscuit on 12.15.21
Yesterday: Temperatures were downright comfortable yesterday staying in the teens to low twenties throughout the day. Winds were light and came from variable directions. No new snow. Cloud cover was in and out, obscuring the ridgelines and occasionally dropping down to the level of the pass.
Today: It looks like it will be cloudy to start but cloud cover should diminish throughout the day. Temperatures are forecast to remain in the teens to low twenties. Winds should be out of the west from 5-15 mph with gusts into the 20s. We could see a trace of snow.
Tomorrow: Sunday and Monday look largely similar to today. Winds should be light out of the west and temperatures will remain in the teens to twenties. Visibility should be the best on Sunday. No new snow in the forecast until Monday night or Tuesday.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||21||0||0||70|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||14||0||0||22|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||19||0*||0.02||43|
* No change in snow depth recorded but a small amount of precipitation
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Sunburst (3812′)||16||W until 1600, then E||4||15|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||17||W until 1500, then E||5||17|
|05/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Nick D'Alessio|
|05/12/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan, Sunburst, Magnum, Cornbiscuit||Heather Thamm|
|05/07/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan – Bear Tracks||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||AS/ WW Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Sturgess Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seward Hwy Turnagain Pass||Joel Curtis|
|04/30/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Ayla, Kit Crosby, Barton|
|04/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||John Sykes|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Taylor Pass/Pastoral||Schauer/ Creighton Forecaster|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
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: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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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.