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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
Sat, March 26th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, March 27th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

Good morning backcountry travelers this is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Saturday, March 26th 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).

ANNOUCEMENT

The Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center will be hosting a beacon park this Sunday at Glen Alps (Flattop trailhead). Show up to hone your transceiver skills in this free event from 12-4pm. Beacon park donated by Backcountry Access.

BOTTOM LINE

Today’s avalanche danger rating is LOW with pockets of MODERATE.

Some isolated areas of steep terrain are still not supporting the new snow very well. Be on the lookout for pockets of deeper storm slabs that may be sensitive to human triggers.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Field checking the new snow yesterday showed a settled depth of 5-6 inches at higher elevations in Turnagain Pass. The new snow visually smoothed out the slopes, but you can easily still feel the old surface texture underneath. The skiing quality is marginally improved, but certainly not fixed.

Bonding of the new snow to the old surface is not bad, not great. We found slight reactivity to skiers yesterday and CNFAIC Staff reports were in line with what we saw. The new snow will slide off the old surface given a steep enough slope and gentle prodding from a backcountry traveler. Fortunately the small volume won’t be dangerous unless it happens in high consequence areas or above a terrain trap. Still, something to keep in mind today.

The old deeper weak layers are worth a mention for shallower zones. Our new snow added some stress to the pack, which will slightly increase the possibility of triggering these deeper layers. The greatest concern is in thinner zones such as Summit and Crow Pass.

Outside forecast area

For people headed North to Hatcher pass this weekend, the level of concern should be higher in that region. It’s been a week since the fatality on Hatch peak. Despite what some media reports said about that avalanche, it was not an isolated event. Hatcher pass has an exceptionally weak snowpack with areas of hard slab and new snow on top. All backcountry use in the Talkeetna mountains should be done with an elevated sense of caution, using good judgement with terrain choices and safe travel techniques.

TIP OF THE DAY

Check out this video to show what happens when a skier above triggers an avalanche onto a skier below. This is a great reminder why we should only expose one person at a time. Watch your buddies from a safe spot and clear out to a safe area below before the next person rides the slope. It’s an easy ritual to follow that effectively saves lives.

Encyclopedia of avalanche terms.

WEATHER ROUNDUP

Yesterday brought only a trace to 1 inch of new snow. 2-4 inches are predicted today with light wind and mild temperatures. The series of weak low pressure systems in the Gulf of Alaska may continue to give us snow showers for the next several days, but nothing substantial is predicted.

Wendy 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 AKDT SAT MAR 26 2011

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

AFTERNOON. SNOW ACCUMULATION 1 TO 3 INCHES. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S TO

LOWER 40S. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

.TONIGHT…CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW. LOWS IN THE MID TEENS TO

MID 30S…COOLEST INLAND. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR

SEWARD.

.SUNDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY. SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S

TO LOWER 40S. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 10 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

.SUNDAY NIGHT…NUMEROUS SNOW SHOWERS IN THE EVENING…THEN

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

LOWER 30S…COOLEST INLAND. LIGHT WINDS.

.MONDAY…CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE MID

30S TO LOWER 40S. LIGHT WINDS EXCEPT NORTH 15 MPH NEAR SEWARD.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 40 28 41 / 80 30 40

GIRDWOOD 36 24 37 / 100 40 50

WEATHER STATION SUMMARY for Turnagain Pass:

-3800′ Sunburst Wx Station-

Temperature 20. Light East wind.

-2600′ Seattle Ridge Wx Station-

23 degrees. Light SE wind.

-1800′ Center Ridge Wx Station-

Temps in the mid 20s. A trace to 1 inch of snow fell yesterday.

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Sat, March 26th, 2011
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
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
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Seward District
Carter Lake
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Snug Harbor
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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.