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
Fri, December 21st, 2012 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, December 22nd, 2012 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
The Bottom Line

A MODERATE danger continues today above treeline on previously wind loaded slopes steeper than 35 degrees where the possibility still remains for a person to trigger a slab avalanche. The most likely places to find and release one of these old persistent slabs are on slopes harboring stiff and hollow feeling snow – supportable to a person or snowmachine. Below treeline and areas above treeline where these stiff old slabs do not exist there is a LOW danger.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Fri, December 21st, 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

As the Mayan Calendar predicted the end of the world at 2:11 this morning and along with that the end of our meager early season, it seems neither has occurred. The world is still here and so is our shallow snowpack full of persistent weak layers.

The wind slabs that caused so much excitement a week ago have been slowly deteriorating under the cold and clear weather to the point of becoming mostly non-reactive. Snowpack evaluations and the lack of recent avalanches have pointed to a pack that is becoming harder and harder to trigger an avalanche in. However, this is not the case everywhere and we struck gold, as John Fitzgerald stated in his observation, yesterday with finding one of these slopes still flashing red lights.

The areas we are most concerned about are in steeper, unsupported terrain (i.e., above cliffs and on rollovers at the mid-elevations) where stiffer, supportable snow (old wind slabs) are sitting on weak sugary snow. Watching and listening for collapsing and hollow feeling areas will be your best bet at sussing out suspect slopes. If you can punch a pole or boot though the stiff snow, though this may be tough in thicker slabs, and feel unconsolidated snow beneath – steer clear and head for a slope lacking that stiff slab.

Weather
Fri, December 21st, 2012

The SEVERE CLEAR weather conditions will continue to dominate for another couple days. The strong inversion has temperatures at sea level and in the parking lots at Turnagain Pass near -20F. The good news is the temps have jumped to the balmy mid-teens on the ridgetops this morning, where they should remain. Winds have backed to an easterly direction overnight and will pick up to the 10-15mph range, gusting to 30mph, today.

The well entrenched, and not so loved, ridge of high pressure looks to start breaking down near the end of the weekend. Models are hinting at a little precipitation around Monday with a weak low pressure system developing the in Gulf. However, mid-week next week a larger low pressure moving into the Bering will hopefully bring a decent shot of precipitation €“ though this is too far out to say for certain €¦

Happy winter solstice!   A little comparison with last year’s solstice:   (Turnagain Pass SNOTEL, 1880′)

                                                                                      Dec 21, 2012                                               Dec 21, 2011
Snow depth                                                 25 €                                                                                 78 €
Seasonal snowfall                       35 €                                                                                 129 €
Seasonal water                                   3.4 €                                                                               13.4 €

Roughly a quarter of where we were last season at this time €“ oh grim.


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 Saturday morning, December 22nd.

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.