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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sun, November 14th, 2010 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, November 15th, 2010 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
CNFAIC Staff
The Bottom Line

Good morning backcountry travelers this is Lisa Portune with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Sunday, November 14th at 7am. This will serve as 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).

ANNOUNCEMENTS

All areas designated for snowmachines are still closed. We are measuring the snow in these areas daily and will open them as soon as there is enough snow to protect the ground and vegetation from being torn up by the tracks of a snowmachine. Thanks for your patience.

WEATHER ROUNDUP

For the first time in 2 weeks, no new snow fell in the last 24 hours in Turnagain Pass. Ridgetop winds were light yesterday, averaging 5-15 mph out of the southeast, while mountain temperatures ranged from the mid 30’s at the middle elevations to the mid 20’s at the upper elevations. Looking out my window at 4am this morning, I see partial clearing through the clouds and a trace of snow on my car. Mountain winds are currently averaging 5-10mph out of the southeast while temperatures this morning range from 22F@3800′ to 27F@1800′ to 31F@sealevel. We may see some scattered snow showers today before a big blocking ridge of high pressure moves over mainland Alaska tomorrow. That means dry, cold, and windy conditions for the next week. Ridgetop winds should be on the light side today, averaging 5-15 mph out of the west, while mountain temperatures will be slightly cooler than yesterday.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Today the avalanche danger remains at LOW overall with areas of MODERATE hazard underneath glide cracks and on steep windloaded terrain near ridgetops. Areas of sensitive windslab still exist at the higher elevations above treeline, so use extra caution before dropping in to steep lines. Yesterday a skier triggered an avalanche on Superbowl Peak on recently formed windslab.

The photo above shows the skier-triggered avalanche from yesterday. The slide ran 800 feet down into the bowl and measured 60-80 feet wide with a crown face of 1.5 to 2 feet deep. The skier most likely triggered it directly underneath his skis judging from the tracks. The cracks propagating off of main crown line indicate a decent amount of stored energy in the slab. Jon and I toured up Tincan yesterday and also found touchy windslab off the southern ridgeline around 3000 feet. 6-12 inch thick windslab fractured easily in my snowpit while CNFAIC Staff skiers reported shooting cracks up higher. These are certainly signs of lingering instability on windloaded slopes, especially at elevations above 3000 feet where colder temperatures keep instabilities around longer. We have yet to find any buried surface hoar in Turnagain Pass, but several folks have found it in the Summit Lake area up to 3200 feet buried 2-3 feet down.

As far as current snow conditions in Turnagain Pass, the surface rain crust disappears around 1500 feet and transitions to powder up to treeline. Above treeline, the snow surface consists of powder, breakable windslab, hard supportable windslab, and sastrugi on the ridgelines.

There are so many glide cracks out there right now I’ve lost count. We are still in an active avalanche cycle with these things, so give them a wide berth. Jon and I saw a few fresh glide avalanches yesterday on our drive up to Turnagain Pass. Lucky for us, we can actually see the hazard and avoid it.

I will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry give us a call at 754-2369 or send us your observations using the button at the top of this page. Thanks and have a great day.

The NWS weather forecast for:

WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-

INCLUDING…WHITTIER…SEWARD…GIRDWOOD…MOOSE PASS

500 AM AKST SUN NOV 14 2010

.TODAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY IN THE MORNING THEN BECOMING PARTLY

CLOUDY. ISOLATED RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE 30S.

LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT WEST 10 TO 20 MPH NEAR WHITTIER.

.TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE EVENING…THEN MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH

ISOLATED SNOW SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWS IN THE LOWER 20S TO

LOWER 30S. VARIABLE WIND TO 10 MPH. NEAR SEWARD…LIGHT WINDS

BECOMING NORTH 10 TO 20 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.

.MONDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH ISOLATED SNOW SHOWERS IN THE

MORNING…THEN PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE LOWER

20S TO LOWER 30S. VARIABLE WIND 10 MPH. NEAR SEWARD…NORTH WIND

INCREASING TO 25 TO 35 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. NEAR WHITTIER…WEST

WIND INCREASING TO 35 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 38 26 28 / 20 0 0

GIRDWOOD 35 23 27 / 30 20 20

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:

-3800′ Sunburst Wx Station-

recorded light southeasterly winds yesterday averaging 5-10mph. The high temp yesterday was 25F. The current temp is 22F with light and variable and winds.

-2600′ Seattle Ridge Wx Station-

recorded light southeasterly winds yesterday averaging 5-15mph. The high temp yesterday was 29F. The current temp is 24F with winds averaging 10mph out of the southeast.

-1800′ Center Ridge Wx Station-

recorded no new snow in the last 24 hours. The high temp yesterday was 35F at 2pm. The current temp is 27F with a total snowpack depth of 51 inches (minus 2 inches due to settlement in the last 24 hours).

Thanks to our sponsors!
Sun, November 14th, 2010
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)
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Riding Areas
Updated Fri, May 01st, 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
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Skookum Drainage
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Turnagain Pass
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Closed as of May 1. Thanks for a fun, safe season!
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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.