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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Fri, February 1st, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, February 2nd, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard remains MODERATE at and above treeline, where winds will create new slabs that will be sensitive to human triggers today.   There also remains a possibility for deep slab avalanches to occur above treeline.   The hazard below treeline is LOW today where it is unlikely for avalanches to occur.

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Fri, February 1st, 2013
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

Wind Slabs

Light density snow that fell early yesterday morning is now being transported to form new wind slabs.  Ridgetop winds picked up overnight and are now creating slabs up to a foot in depth.  The underlying bed surfaces supporting these wind slabs vary depending on elevation.  Between 1,000 and ~2,500′ these wind slabs are resting on a slick bed surface, formed by the warm temps of last week and the frigid temps of last weekend/early part of this week.  Expect to encounter the most sensitive slabs at the upper end of this elevation band, especially in open areas where the wind is blowing.  In the upper elevations wind slabs will also form and become sensitive today.  In addition, older pockets of wind slab that can cause problems are still out there as reported by a party on Magnum yesterday.

Loose snow avalanches

In wind sheltered areas above treeline expect to encounter loose snow avalanches running in steep terrain today.  While these avalanches are low in volume, the consequences increase if you’re swept off your feet or machine and into terrain traps such as cliffs, trees, and gullies.

Avalanche Problem 2
  • Deep Persistent Slabs
    Deep Persistent Slabs
Deep Persistent Slabs
Deep Persistent Slab avalanches are the release of a thick cohesive layer of hard snow (a slab), when the bond breaks between the slab and an underlying persistent weak layer deep in the snowpack. The most common persistent weak layers involved in deep, persistent slabs are depth hoar or facets surrounding a deeply buried crust. Deep Persistent Slabs are typically hard to trigger, are very destructive and dangerous due to the large mass of snow involved, and can persist for months once developed. They are often triggered from areas where the snow is shallow and weak, and are particularly difficult to forecast for and manage.
More info at Avalanche.org

Deep slabs continue to be a concern.  Weak snow that formed early in the season persists beneath dense snow that fell over the holidays.  We have seen evidence of this problem diminishing greatly below 2,000′.  Above ~2,000′ the weak base to the snowpack is still showing the ability to propagate across slopes and create large avalanches.  The reality is that it is very hard to initiate one of these avalanches.  The overlying slab is relatively strong and those weak layers have had time to adjust to the weight of the slabs sitting on them.  While it may seem that there are no problems on the surface, it is important to know the weather history of this season and realize that the weak snow is still there and capable of creating unsurvivable avalanches.

Weather
Fri, February 1st, 2013

A relatively calm and mild day yesterday in the mountains with no precip has given way to increasing winds overnight.   Temps are in the mid to upper twenties at ridgetops and winds are currently blowing 20 mph out of the East and Southeast with gusts to 30 mph.

Expect increasing clouds today with temps remaining mild, in the mid twenties to near 30 F at ridgetops.   Winds will be out of the E and SE at 15-20mph.   Snow showers should begin this evening and continue into tomorrow.

The extended outlook calls for a continuation of unsettled weather, with snowfall amounts remaining light and temps staying mild.

_____________________________________________________________

Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, February 2nd.

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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
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Summit Lake
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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.