Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sun, December 25th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, December 26th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Good morning and Merry Christmas. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Sunday, December 25th 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).

ANNOUNCEMENT

Placer river valley and the Skookum valley opened yesterday for motorized use. Be aware of thin snow conditions and areas of thin ice over water. 20 mile will remain closed until we get more snow cover at sea level.

BOTTOM LINE

The avalanche danger is MODERATE for fresh wind slab avalanches and new snow sluffing. Increasing winds today are expected to form soft wind slabs that could be triggered by a person. Watch for these on all steep slopes with recent wind deposited snow. Sluffing in the loose snow will also be possible on steeper slopes.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Yesterday, the most seen and reported avalanche activity was minor sluffing in the 2-6” inches of light snow (from mainly Thursday night). These were shallow and not packing much punch. However, there were some locations where the light winds picked up enough to blow the low density snow into soft wind slabs. These were in isolated areas but when found, easily triggered. Report HERE.

Today, wind slabs are the primary concern. Winds are forecast to pick up into the 20-30mph range from an easterly direction. This is will be enough to move and deposit the new snow, as well as the older loose snow from Thursday, into soft sensitive slabs. The key today will be to watch for any increase in wind and how the snow is being affected. Cracking from your sled or boards will be your main clue that you have hit a wind slab. These are most likely to be found just off the ridgelines, on the steepest part of a roller and the sides of gullies.

Many areas near and above treeline have a hard winded surface under the several inches of loose snow. This will allow for a slick sliding surface. From what we saw yesterday, if the wind slabs and sluffs are big enough to gain momentum, they could run farther than expected.

CNFAIC Staff than the previously mentioned instabilities in the new and loose snow on the surface, the deeper layers in the snowpack continue to show good bonding and a good set up so far this season.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER

Under mostly cloudy skies yesterday, intermittent snow showers added around an inch of snow to most locations. Winds were light and variable and temperatures in the teens. Overnight, around 4 inches of light snow has fallen in the Girdwood Valley with the Turnagain Pass SNOTEL reading only 1 inch. Winds have been light to calm from an easterly direction with temperatures dropping to the teens near sea level and single digits above 1500′.

Today, the cloudy skies, light snow showers and cold temperatures will persist. We will likely see around 2-3” of light snow through the day with temperatures in the teens. The easterly winds look to pick up a bit, into the 20-30mph range on the ridgetops.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

I will issue the next advisory Monday morning. If you get out in the backcountry we want to know what you are seeing. Please send us your observations using the button at the top of this page or give us a call at 754-2369. Thanks and have a great day.

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Sun, December 25th, 2011
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)
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Riding Areas
Updated Thu, April 01st, 2021

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
Open
No parking in turnaround at end of the road near the outhouse.
Placer River
Open
Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
The Skookum Valley is closed to snowmachines. This closure occurs annually on April 1 as per the CNF Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Twentymile
Open
Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Open
Lost Lake Trail
Open
Primrose Trail
Open
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed for the 2020/21 winter season.
Snug Harbor
Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Open
Summit Lake
Open

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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.