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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
Mon, April 2nd, 2012 - 7:00AM
Expires
Tue, April 3rd, 2012 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
CNFAIC Staff
The Bottom Line

Good morning. This is Chris Engelhardt with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Monday, April 2nd 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

Skookum drainage is now closed to motorized use for the rest of the season. All CNFAIC Staff motorized use areas on the Glacier Ranger District, such as Placer Valley and 20-Mile, remain open.

BOTTOM LINE

MODERATE avalanche danger continues on ALL NORTHERLY slopes above tree line that have wind-loaded dry snow. Shallow ~1ft soft slab avalanches are very easy to trigger and have been widespread throughout the Turnagain Pass zone. Wet avalanche danger will also be MODERATE and could reach CONSIDERABLE levels today if the predicted high temperatures and clear sunny weather culminate.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION

Conditions have not changed much over the course of the last 5 days or so. Persistent soft slabs are balanced precariously on buried surface hoar on the North aspects. If you are looking for dry cold snow be prepared to deal with this issue. These conditions may be manageable on moderate terrain with escape routes, but once you get into steep, exposed, and technical terrain you could easily get into trouble. Careful route selection is needed to avoid any unsupported slopes above cliffs or slopes that dumps into any kind of terrain trap .

Warming spring temperatures and the expected clear sunny days on tap are going to melt and loosen sunny aspects well up to the higher elevations today. We have seen all the trees lose their tree bombs this past week, and next up is all the residual hanging cornices out there. At this transitional time from winter to spring, it would be advisable to avoid any travel on, or beneath sunny hot slopes, especially in the afternoon.

Primary Concern – Persistent Slab Avalanches

Our observations from this past Saturday sum up well the current conditions of northerly aspects. Expect to find sensitive soft slabs, resting on surface hoar that propagate quick and run even faster. Cautious route finding both up and down are necessary. Skiing or riding above any kind of depression, gulley or cliff should be avoided.

Secondary Concern – Wet Avalanches, Cornices and Glide Cracks

We have not seen a large wet slab event yet, but if temperatures continue to climb today and tomorrow, with clear days, we may see much larger destructive wet avalanches. I’d stay off sunny slopes for a variety of reasons; horrible skiing in the morning, injury-inducing punchy wet snow in the afternoon, wet avalanches in the late day, and to top it off, person swallowing glide cracks inhabiting numerous locals. Falling Cornices may also trigger larger avalanches beneath, so pay attention to your location in valley bottoms. I wouldn’t spend too much time admiring my north side run while standing under a cooking south side slope. Take a quick egress and revel in your accomplishments from a safe spot.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER

It was misty and visibility was poor for most of the morning until the sun started breaking out mid afternoon yesterday around the Turnagain Pass zone. At tree line, temperature reached into the mid-30F’s peaking around 2pm, while it remained cooler at higher elevations averaging in the mid-20F’s at peaks and ridge tops. Easterly winds were very calm averaging 4-8mph throughout yesterday and last night.

A sunny, clear day is forecast today with temperatures slated to reach the 50’s at sea level and around 25F-30F at 1000ft elevation. Winds look to remain light from the east. Bring your sunscreen

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

Graham will issue the next advisory tomorrow 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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Mon, April 2nd, 2012
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 Mon, October 26th, 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
Twentymile
Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Primrose Trail
Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Snug Harbor
Closed
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Closed
Summit Lake
Closed

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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.