Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
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.
We have a few spots open in our non-motorized backcountry observer training day this Saturday, February 9th. Check our calendar page for more information. Join the forecasters for a day in the backcountry and learn how to contribute snow and avalanche observations to your local avalanche center.
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.
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.
|05/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Nick D'Alessio|
|05/12/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan, Sunburst, Magnum, Cornbiscuit||Heather Thamm|
|05/07/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan – Bear Tracks||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||AS/ WW Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Sturgess Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seward Hwy Turnagain Pass||Joel Curtis|
|04/30/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Ayla, Kit Crosby, Barton|
|04/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||John Sykes|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Taylor Pass/Pastoral||Schauer/ Creighton Forecaster|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
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: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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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.