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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Wed, February 6th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, February 7th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

 Aging wind slabs at high elevation keep our concern at MODERATE above treeline.   The stability trend today is steady, with a small amount of snow in the forecast.   Small avalanches are possible in specific steep terrain.   Below treeline several hard melt/freeze layers are locking the snowpack in place and keeping the danger LOW.   We have few reports of avalanche activity from the last several days, but a blizzard watch for tomorrow will keep our stability short lived.

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Wed, February 6th, 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

The pictures below show an example of our primary concern.  Wind slabs have been reactive to natural and human triggers over the last few days.  After yesterday’s calm weather it will be less likely to find this problem today.  It may be possible to find reactive wind slabs in steep and complex terrain greater than 35 degrees. 

Patterns of recent wind slabs have shown mostly small avalanches, breaking 6-18 inches deep.  A mid-elevation band between 2000 and 2500 feet places the wind slab on top of a slick melt/freeze crust.  I’m more concerned about terrain above 3000 feet today because that’s where we find more of our steeper pitches.  Cross loaded steep gullies in consequential terrain on all aspects should be treated with respect.

Cornices are another form of windslab, with an unsupported overhanging nature.  Now that we’ve reached mid winter, cornices are getting large and mature.  As always, they should never be trusted and only approached with caution.  The wind slab in the pictures was likely triggered by a naturally failing cornice.

 

Weather
Wed, February 6th, 2013

No snow yesterday, mostly sunny skies, pleasant temperatures in the mid to high 20s, and light wind made for a great day in the mountains.  

Today, a few inches of snow is forecasted this morning.   Temperatures should be just below freezing at sea level.   Wind is expected to be 10mph or less.   Snowfall will decrease this afternoon leaving mostly cloudy skies.

A blizzard watch is in effect starting Thursday afternoon.   Stay tuned as we track the development of this storm.


Graham will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, February 7th.


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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

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Turnagain Pass
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Closed as of May 1. Thanks for a fun, safe season!
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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.