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
Tue, October 30th, 2012 - 7:00AM
Expires
Wed, October 31st, 2012 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
The Bottom Line

Welcome to the 2012/2013 winter forecasting season!  Due to early season conditions, for both the snowpack and our operations, we will be issuing intermittent snow and avalanche updates between today and November 17th, as conditions dictate.  There is a thin blanket of snow out there and that means we need to start thinking avalanches.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Friends of the CNFAIC’s benefit hosted by the Bear Tooth – it was a full house and a great success!!

The calendar is filling up with free awareness classes and other avalanche education courses offered in our area so make plans accordingly. The first of four “fireside chats” starts Nov. 8th in Girdwood (see calendar for further details).

Keep checking our photos/observations page for early season information.

SNOWPACK and AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
For anyone who has ventured into the mountains recently, it is quite obvious that the mid October snow has deteriorated and become very loose and sugary during the past two weeks of clear skies. Currently there is 0 to 16″ of this old snow covering most areas in the Girdwood/Turnagain Pass and Summit area. Add to this the abundant (and gigantic) surface hoar on top of the “sugar” snow and we are dealing with a snowpack that is essentially one big weak layer. This means the avalanche danger is generally low now, but once a slab of snow is formed on top (by additional snow and/or wind) we could see some widespread avalanche activity and a rapid rise in danger.  

General snowcover as of October 29th

Recent avalanche activity: Believe it or not, the snow has lost so much cohesion and become so weak that we are seeing facet-lanches (or facet sluffs), which are sluffs in the faceted snow! Also, the sun is still strong enough that a few wet sluffs have been seen on rocky south facing slopes.

For today, the trace to an inch or two of snow with light to moderate winds has the potential to form some small pockets of wind slabs near most exposed ridgelines. Any pockets that may form and be triggered will likely pick up steam as they would entrain the loose faceted snow adding to the size of the slide. Watching for areas with recent wind deposited snow and steering clear of runouts under sustained steep slopes and gullies, where sluffs may run far, are good things to keep in mind. As the old-timers say: Whenever there is snow on the ground we should be thinking avalanches.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Tue, October 30th, 2012
Alpine
Above 2,500'
No Rating (0)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
No Rating (0)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
No Rating (0)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
No Rating (0)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
No Rating (0)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
No Rating (0)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Weather
Tue, October 30th, 2012

Finally the ridge of high pressure that has kept skies clear for too many days has moved west allowing an arctic low to descend over mainland Alaska bringing us colder temperatures and a teaser of snow. A trace to 3 inches has fallen from Turnagain Pass to Anchorage. Temperatures have dropped into the low teens at the ridgelines and winds have picked up from the north and west and are in the 10-20mph range.  

Skies are forecast to break up later today, through Wednesday and into Thursday when the low picks up steam and we get a better shot for precipitation on Friday. Stay tuned at our weather page.

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.