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
Sun, January 23rd, 2011 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, January 24th, 2011 - 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, January 23rd 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).

BOTTOM LINE

The avalanche danger rating remains at MODERATE this morning but will increase to CONSIDERABLE later today if we get the high-end estimate of 11 inches of new snow the NWS is forecasting for the higher elevations. The east winds are already starting to ramp up this morning and are expected to hit gale force by mid day. At the least we’ll see POCKETS OF CONSIDERABLE hazard today due to windloading. The winds, coupled with almost a foot of new snow, will most certainly create dangerous avalanche conditions in the backcountry. If this storm pans out, human-triggered avalanches will be likely on windloaded terrain with long running fractures possible.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Our primary concern right now is the new snow/old snow interface. The 4-6 inches of new snow that fell over the past four days buried some formidable weak layers…the most notable being the widespread surface hoar that formed during the 2 week cold snap January 5-18. The new snow also buried wind crusts, hard windslab, exposed ice crusts, and sugary faceted snow….all poor bonding surfaces for the light density snow that fell this past week. No doubt about it, anCNFAIC Staff foot of snow and gale force winds will equal dicey avalanche conditions.

This past Thursday skiers were able to trigger some highly reactive soft slabs in the upper Girdwood Valley. The slabs were no more than a foot deep, but one propagated over 130 feet wide and failed on the buried surface hoar. Every ski cut they performed resulted in a small avalanche, and even their dog triggered a 20 ft. wide slab on a small roll. They stuck to manageable terrain and avoided deeper windloaded areas. I think this was a small preview of things to come once we get a decent snow load in Turnagain Pass.

Our deeper slab instabilities are now a secondary concern. It has been two weeks since the last reported human-triggered avalanche on one of these layers. These persistent weak layers consist of buried surface hoar that formed in December and facets above and below the Thanksgiving Rain Crust. Although they have seemingly lost their reactivity, a slim chance always remains of triggering an avalanche on one of these layers. We’ll probably see some avalanches stepping down to these deeper layers during our next big avalanche cycle.

Encyclopedia of terms: www.fsavalanche.org/Encyclopedia.aspx

WEATHER ROUNDUP

No new snow fell in the last 24 hours in Turnagain Pass. Under cloudy skies yesterday, winds were light with mountain temperatures in the teens to mid 20’s. Ridgetop winds started to increase early this morning and are currently averaging 15-30mph out of the east gusting to 50. A strong front will bring gale-force easterly winds today with possibly up to a foot of new snow above 1000 feet. We’ll see temperatures climb to the mid to upper 20’s at the higher elevations and upper 30’s at sea level.

I will issue my last 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 JAN 23 2011

…STRONG WIND THROUGH TONIGHT…

.TODAY…SNOW…MIXED AT TIMES WITH RAIN. AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW

INLAND WITH VISIBILITIES REDUCED TO ONE HALF MILE AT TIMES. SNOW

ACCUMULATIONS 2 TO 6 INCHES…HIGHEST INLAND AND AT HIGHER

ELEVATIONS. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S TO LOWER 40S. NORTH TO EAST WINDS

INCREASING TO 15 TO 30 MPH WITH LOCAL GUSTS TO 45 MPH. THROUGH

PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM…EAST WINDS 25 TO 45 MPH WITH GUSTS

TO 60 MPH BY AFTERNOON.

.TONIGHT…SNOW AND RAIN. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 5 INCHES. LOWS

IN THE LOWER TO MID 30S. SOUTH TO EAST WINDS 15 TO 30 MPH WITH LOCAL

GUSTS TO 45 MPH DECREASING TO 10 TO 25 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT. THROUGH

PORTAGE VALLEY AND TURNAGAIN ARM…EAST WIND 30 TO 45 MPH WITH GUSTS

TO 60 MPH DIMINISHING 20 TO 40 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.

.MONDAY…RAIN AND SNOW IN THE MORNING…THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN AND

SNOW IN THE AFTERNOON. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 1 INCH. HIGHS IN THE

LOWER TO MID 30S. SOUTHEAST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH. THROUGH PORTAGE VALLEY

AND TURNAGAIN ARM…EAST WIND 30 TO 40 MPH DECREASING TO 15 TO 20 MPH

IN THE AFTERNOON.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 36 35 35 / 80 80 80

GIRDWOOD 40 31 33 / 60 70 70

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:

-3800′ Sunburst Wx Station-

recorded light winds averaging 5-10mph out of the northwest yesterday and temps ranging from 13F to 22F. The winds picked up last night and are now averaging 15-20mph out of the NE. Temp is currently 17F.

-2600′ Seattle Ridge Wx Station-

recorded light and variable winds yesterday with temps ranging from 17F to 25F. The winds picked up last night and are now averaging 20-30mph out of the SE. Temp is currently 21F.

-1800′ Center Ridge Wx Station-

recorded no new snow in the last 24 hours. Temps yesterday ranged from 18F to 27F. The current temp is 26F.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Sun, January 23rd, 2011
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Considerable (3)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Considerable (3)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Considerable (3)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Considerable (3)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Considerable (3)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
Considerable (3)
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 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
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
Closed
Placer River
Closed
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Turnagain Pass
Closed
Closed as of May 1. Thanks for a fun, safe season!
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.