Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sat, February 2nd, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, February 3rd, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

Light snowfall with moderate to strong wind continues to build windslabs up high and is keeping MODERATE danger above treeline.   The likelihood of triggering one of these windslabs is moderate to likely in steep wind loaded terrain, but avalanche size should be small.   Below treeline the concern is LOW and riding conditions are difficult with wet sticky snow and shallow crusts.

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Sat, February 2nd, 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 have been popping with skier influence over the last few days, but everything we’ve seen or heard about has been relatively small and manageable.  The biggest concern is related to higher consequence terrain if someone decides to step it up and gets surprised.  With limited snowfall over the last few days windslabs are 6-18 inches deep and are isolated to wind loaded aspects.  Check the observations page for more recent examples.

Cornices are building and may be more unstable than usual due to high temperatures.  Watch out when approaching the edge of a ridge, especially in flat light conditions.

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

The deep slab problem is a minor concern in most areas.  Below 2500 feet it is unlikely to affect the deeply buried facets through 6 feet of hard slab and crusts.  Above that, especially above 3000 feet, there is more concern for a couple reasons.  The facets up high have not had enough warmth to promote significant bonding and increased strength.  Snow depth is more variable, and shallow areas can be found where the weight of a person could affect those weak layers.  The slopes also tend to be steeper at the upper elevations with more avalanche terrain to navigate.

Weather
Sat, February 2nd, 2013

Yesterday it was warm and raining up to near 2000 feet in Turnagain Pass.   Precipitation intensity was low, but the liquid water on top of snow made for sticky skiing below treeline.  

Today’s weather looks to be similar with small amounts of precip expected and continued warm temperatures.   Rain is expected at sea level and may reach to above 1000 feet.

An east wind will blow moderate to strong at the ridges, with enough intensity to redistribute snow and create windslabs. Sunburst is reading wind gusts into the mid 40s already this morning.


Wendy will issue the next advisory Sunday morning, Feb 3rd.

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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
Closed

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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.