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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
Tue, March 13th, 2012 - 7:00AM
Expires
Wed, March 14th, 2012 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
CNFAIC Staff
The Bottom Line

Good morning. This is Chris Engelhardt with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Tuesday, March 13th 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 remains LOW in the core Tunagain Pass area. Dry loose snow sluffing in steep terrain and shallow wind slabs on the leeward side of ridges remain the biggest concern today. The great weather lately and overall snow stability in the core forecast zone has contributed to wonderful skiing and riding opportunities, but do not let it lull you into complacency. Always follow good protocols while traveling in avalanche terrain. Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain are always possible. On the periphery and outside our core zone areas of MODERATE danger may exist.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Continued calm sunny days combined with cold nights and calm to non-existent winds has settled the snow pack significantly. Robust, thin wind slabs were found yesterday just off ridge tops and they felt hollow and drum like. We avoided these areas as well as the large cornices hovering over the leeward side of ridges. Observations yesterday saw lots of dry loose sluffing on steeper terrain caused by skiers. Be aware of this when choosing the terrain you’re skiing and make good decisions on how to manage the loose snow that will be chasing you down the hill. If you are riding or skiing in lower elevations continue to avoid traveling underneath sunny aspects that continue to produce wet loose snow releases as rocks heat up during the day.

The snow surface in the Turnagain Pass zone is becoming less consistent as sun crusts have developed on south aspects and the light loose powder on north, east and west aspects has been moved around, compacted and is starting to recrystallize. Also, surface hoar has been observed at all elevations and will be something to track in the future. Check out our observations and photos page for more condition details.

Primary concern: Loose Snow

Loose snow sluffing on all aspects above 40 degrees. Concerted terrain and sluff management is needed if you are intending on stepping it up and skiing steep committing terrain.

Secondary concern: Wind Slab

Wind slabs on the leeward edge of ridges, steep rolls and convexities remain a concern on wind loaded aspects and unsupported slopes (e.g. Slopes above cliffs).

MOUNTAIN WEATHER

Yesterday remained quite sunny and calm with temperatures in the mid-20s. Winds were stagnant and remained that way into the early night. Last night, temperatures warmed up slightly from previous nights into the 10-14F range. Today, winds are supposed to pick up slightly to 10-20mph and blow from the east and southeast. Temperatures should be in the 17-25F at lower elevations and there is a chance of scattered snow showers throughout the day. Skies were clear and the stars were sparkling early this morning in the Girdwood valley.

Currently there is an upper low centered over Southwest Alaska and we are expected to get scattered snow showers throughout the rest of the week. Perhaps we will get some nice pulses to refresh the snow surface.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

Kevin will issue the next advisory Wednesday 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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Tue, March 13th, 2012
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

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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.