Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Wed, December 5th, 2012 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, December 6th, 2012 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Cold and stable weather persists, holding the avalanche problem steady over the last 2 weeks.  Above treeline, pockets of Moderate avalanche danger may still be found, but the trend is for slowly diminishing problems.  It’s been a while now since we’ve seen any new significant avalanche activity.

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Wed, December 5th, 2012
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
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
Moderate (2)
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)
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Persistent Slabs
    Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) in the middle to upper snowpack, when the bond to an underlying persistent weak layer breaks. Persistent layers include: surface hoar, depth hoar, near-surface facets, or faceted snow. Persistent weak layers can continue to produce avalanches for days, weeks or even months, making them especially dangerous and tricky. As additional snow and wind events build a thicker slab on top of the persistent weak layer, this avalanche problem may develop into a Deep Persistent Slab.
More info at Avalanche.org

A shallow faceted snowpack and little wind keeps the danger trend the same.  In most places people are traveling the snowpack has rotted out to a sugary, sometimes unsupportable base.  Collapses or whumphing are getting harder to find, and seem to be focused closer to a person than they were a couple weeks ago.  Pit tests are confirming this trend with poor propagation potential compared to mid November.  The nature of the snowpack makes it hard to explore too far without hitting rocks…  If you are going skiing, you might want to grab some p-tex repair materials on the way home.

A healthy amount of uncertainty still exists in the mountains.  We know the structure of the snowpack is poor.  Very few people are testing slopes steeper than 35 degrees.  Our information is limited due to below average use because of the difficulty in accessing much of our backcountry terrain.  While it seems unlikely to trigger a major avalanche, anything that does slide will strip the snow to the ground, exposing rocks and other trauma inducing objects at the bedsurface.  A Moderate level of caution is still warranted in the steeper zones above treeline.  

Weather
Wed, December 5th, 2012

It is cold and calm outside today.  The temperature inversion continues with Portage reading -23 this morning and ridgetops around Girdwood and Turnagain Pass reaching into the low teens.  

The general weather trend is expected to hold until the weekend, then snow is possible with temperatures rising to the 20s.  According to NOAA –  PATTERN CHANGE STILL UPCOMING USHERING IN A MORE PROGRESSIVE SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW AFTER THE WEEKEND…HOWEVER THE DETAILS ARE STILL UP IN THE AIR ON EXACTLY WHERE THE PREDOMINANT STORM TRACK WILL SET UP.


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).  

Wendy will issue the next advisory Thursday morning, December 6th.

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Riding Areas
Updated Tue, January 12th, 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
Early season conditions exist, including thin ice on rivers, swamps and lakes. Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Skookum Drainage
Open
Early season conditions exist, including thin ice on rivers, swamps and lakes. Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Twentymile
Closed
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.