Share your feedback! Share your feedback!

How’s our new website?
How can we better serve you?

Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Fri, February 12th, 2010 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, February 13th, 2010 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
CNFAIC Staff
The Bottom Line

Good morning backcountry travelers this is Carl Skustad with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Friday February 12th at 7 am. This will serve as a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm Area with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (this advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Friday February 12th, 7:00 pm, at the APU Campus – Backcountry Film Festival!Benifits Alaska Avalanche School. more info at: www.alaskaavalanche.com

WEATHER ROUNDUP

More of the same weather in store for us today. A ridge over Central AK extending to the lower 48 has lows grinding along it’s edge. These lows are spinning short wave precip into our area from the gulf. There are eight lows lined up to provide more damp, greybird weather through the weekend. Most of the precipitation will be rain at lower elevations and snow above 1500 ft. Amounts of precip are low. Only .5 inches a water forecasted today. The jet stream is to our south and not a large player in our local weather today. The satellites show three lows spinning counter clockwise in the gulf. The radar shows moderate precip coming across PWS. It is splitting into two fronts. One goes ashore near Seward and the second just north of Whittier, extending down the eastern shoreline of PWS to Cordova.

In the last 24 hours we received .4 to .7 inches of water. Above 1500 ft this came as snow. My best estimate this morning for new snow above the snowline is 4-10 inches. The higher the more snow. It is actively raining in the Girdwood Valley this morning and has been for the last 4 hours. Winds are strong with gusts in the 40’s to 60’s. Averages are 13 to 31 mph. All prevailing winds are out of the east.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Today’s avalanche hazard is MODERATE with pockets of CONSIDERABLE. This means that natural avalanches are unlikely, human triggered avalanches are possible. The pockets of considerable exist in areas near ridge tops where strong winds and or new snow is actively loading steep terrain. That means that natural avalanches may be possible in those pockets.

We don’t have a lot of intel on higher elevation stability yet. We need to continue to practice good route finding and snowpack evaluation skills in these areas. When we see storms trickling in over a longer period of time we see more spacial variability. This is the case today. Some areas see the wind, some don’t; some areas see snow or rain, some don’t. It is apparent that we are seeing an improvement in stability since the onset of this storm cycle last Friday. However, we have active weather adding wind, rain, and snow to the equation. This is the coastal weather building the coastal snowpack we all love. Stay heads up during this weather cycle.

There are two main weak layers in our snowpack. (Matt summed them up nicely so we’ll leave them posted today for review).

1.A thin breakable melt-freeze crust with surface hoar on top of it. We have seen this weak layer up to 3000′ on multiple aspects on both sides of highway at Turnagain Pass. This weak layer is generally buried 1 ½ to 2 ½ feet deep. Of course it will be buried deeper in areas where wind slabs formed. We were getting moderate failures with clean fast shears on this layer along Seattle Ridge on Monday 2/8/2010, but this weak layer was not reactive to human-triggers in certain locations on Monday (see forecasters video link for “backcountry artillery). Surface hoar has been observed on top of this layer in several pits. Not all pits show the surface hoar, and these feathery crystals get smaller as you gain elevation. This is the same weak layer that was responsible for the skier-triggered avalanches on Tincan on Saturday 2/6/2010. Plus I suspect this was the same weak layer that failed creating a natural avalanche on Widowmaker on Saturday 2/6/2010 as well (see photo gallery). This particular weak layer will be the likely culprit for human-triggered avalanches today.

2.The Jan 7 rain crust is generally buried 3-5 feet deep and it qualifies as a deep slab instability. As of yesterday 2/10/2010, it was still showing moderate failures with clean smooth shears. This weak layer is still showing significant signs of instability, but the question is what kind of trigger could create an avalanche on this weak layer? It appears that this weak layer will require a big trigger or more weight on top of it. This weak layer is widespread on all aspects between 2000-3000 feet.

WEATHER FORECAST (National Weather Service)

WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-

INCLUDING…WHITTIER…SEWARD…GIRDWOOD…MOOSE PASS

500 AM AKST FRI FEB 12 2010

…STRONG WIND THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY

AND TURNAGAIN ARM…

.TODAY…RAIN…EXCEPT RAIN AND SNOW THROUGH TURNAGAIN PASS.

SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 1 INCH. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 30S TO MID 40S.

NORTH TO EAST WIND 15 TO 30 MPH BECOMING SOUTH TO EAST 10 TO 20 MPH

IN THE AFTERNOON. THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM…EAST

WIND 35 TO 50 MPH DECREASING TO 25 TO 35 MPH LATE THIS AFTERNOON.

.TONIGHT…RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS IN THE EVENING…THEN SCATTERED

SNOW AND RAIN SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT. LITTLE OR NO SNOW ACCUMULATION.

LOWS IN THE UPPER 20S TO MID 30S. VARIABLE WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.

THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM…EAST WIND 20 TO 35 MPH

DECREASING TO 10 TO 20 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.

.SATURDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY. ISOLATED RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS

IN THE MORNING. HIGHS IN THE 30S. NORTH TO EAST WIND TO 15 MPH

EXCEPT NORTH WIND INCREASING TO 15 TO 25 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

.SATURDAY NIGHT…RAIN AND SNOW LIKELY. LOWS IN THE MID 20S TO

MID 30S. NORTH TO EAST WIND TO 15 MPH EXCEPT NORTH 15 TO 30 MPH

NEAR SEWARD.

.SUNDAY…RAIN LIKELY. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S TO LOWER 40S. NORTH

TO EAST WIND 15 TO 30 MPH. THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN

ARM…EAST WIND 15 TO 25 MPH INCREASING TO 25 TO 40 MPH IN THE

AFTERNOON.

.SUNDAY NIGHT…RAIN AND SNOW LIKELY. LOWS IN THE 30S.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 40 33 37 / 90 70 20

GIRDWOOD 39 29 38 / 90 70 0

Thanks for checking today’s avalanche advisory. The next one will be posted tomorrow Satuday February 13th.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Fri, February 12th, 2010
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Observations
Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
05/06/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face
04/10/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Wolverine
04/10/20 Turnagain Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder
04/09/20 Turnagain Observation: Bench Peak
04/04/20 Turnagain Observation: Tincan
04/04/20 Turnagain Observation: Pete’s North
03/26/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)
03/26/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Seattle Ridge
03/25/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′
03/24/20 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations
Riding Areas
Updated Mon, October 26th, 2020

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
Closed
Placer River
Closed
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Turnagain Pass
Closed
Twentymile
Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Primrose Trail
Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Snug Harbor
Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Summit Lake
Closed

Subscribe to Turnagain Pass
Avalanche Forecast by Email

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.