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, December 11th, 2012 - 7:00AM
Expires
Wed, December 12th, 2012 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
The Bottom Line

BOTTOM LINE

There is a MODERATE avalanche danger today for wind slab avalanches above treeline. Human triggered avalanches are possible on steep slopes (greater than 35 degrees) where the high winds from Saturday night’s storm created sensitive slabs and drifts.These wind slabs are sitting on a persistent weak layer of faceted snow that is keeping avalanche potential possible. Any slide triggered today has the potential to be dangerous if released in high consequence terrain, such as large bowls and above cliffs and gullies. Below treeline there is a generally LOW avalanche danger as the snowpack consists of mostly loose unconsolidated snow.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Tue, December 11th, 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
  • Wind Slabs
    Wind Slabs
Wind Slabs
Wind Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) formed by the wind. Wind typically transports snow from the upwind sides of terrain features and deposits snow on the downwind side. Wind slabs are often smooth and rounded and sometimes sound hollow, and can range from soft to hard. Wind slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
More info at Avalanche.org

There were no new avalanches reported yesterday after the plethora of easily human triggered avalanches on Sunday. This is likely due to two things: (1) only a handful of folks were out testing slopes that were not already tested Sunday and (2) the weak layer is slowly adjusting to the new load of the wind slab. The widespread collapsing seen Sunday has decreased but was still occurring on the ridgelines yesterday, which points to the lingering instability. Snowpack test results show signs the slabs are gaining strength – moderately easy to trigger (compared with Sunday when it was just plain easy to trigger).

Areas where the Saturday winds loaded slopes and scoured slopes are still visible as the scoured areas have a darker look while wind drifts and slabs have a brighter, white look and often a rounded nature. A slight bump in wind today (NW, 10-20mph on the ridgelines) will likely not add to the avalanche problem but may mask these older, more concerning wind slabs. Any wind loaded slope steep enough (> 35 degrees) has the potential to avalanche, these slides could be anywhere from small and manageable to larger and unmanageable. If one of these releases in unforgiving terrain (for example, in a large bowl like Todd’s Run, or over a cliff) a ride could be enough to injure or kill a person. Watching for collapsing (whoomphing) and cracking will be obvious signs the slab is unstable.

Good travel practices are not to be left at home. Only exposing one person at a time, keeping a close eye on your partners and discussing potential avalanche zones will be prudent.

Below treeline, the snowpack is back to one unconsolidated unit with low density storm snow, which has lost its slab properties, over the weak old snow. There is a layer of buried surface hoar that does a good job at marking this new/old interface.

Weather
Tue, December 11th, 2012

We have a brief break between storms today with clearing skies and light to moderate northerly winds. Temperatures have cooled off with the northerly flow overnight and are in the upper 20’s F at sea level and mid-teens at 4000ft. Ridgetop winds are forecast to be ~10mph from the NW, gusting up to 25mph.

Another system is moving in from the west tonight but it is not the ideal set up for Turnagain Pass as the low is centered north of the Aleutians €“ more of an Anchorage and Hatcher Pass special. It looks like Turnagain Pass could see somewhere around 4-8 € of snowfall tonight through Wednesday. Stay tuned tomorrow morning.


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).  

Kevin will issue the next advisory Wednesday morning, December 12th.

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 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
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.