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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 22nd, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, February 23rd, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is MODERATE above treeline where loose snow avalanches are the main concern in steep terrain.   Below treeline the hazard is LOW, where avalanches are unlikely today.

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Fri, February 22nd, 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
  • Dry Loose
    Dry Loose
Dry Loose
Dry Loose avalanches are the release of dry unconsolidated snow and typically occur within layers of soft snow near the surface of the snowpack. These avalanches start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-dry avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs.
More info at Avalanche.org

The storm that ended Wednesday left 6-8 inches of light density snow sitting on the surface.  This snow will sluff easily today, primarily on North and West aspects and especially in steeper terrain.  South and some East facing terrain received enough sun yesterday to melt the surface snow which has re frozen overnight where loose snow avalanches are less of a problem.  Natural point releases were observed on multiple aspects above treeline yesterday.  Expect more of the same today with sluffs being small to medium in volume.  Pay particular attention to these above terrain traps such as cliffs, gullies and trees.

Wind slabs
There is the possibility of finding isolated older pockets of shallow wind slab in the higher elevation starting zones.  Triggering one of these smaller slabs combined with sluffing will increase the volume of snow moving dowhill, making it harder to manage terrain appropriately.

Avalanche Problem 2
  • 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

A distinct buried crust resides in many locations between ~1,500-3,000′ in elevation.  On top of this crust is weak snow in some areas.  On top of that weak snow is a slab up to 3 feet thick.  Yesterday my partners and I tested the snow at this interface and found it to be non reactive.  Other areas in the last week have shown this layer to be reactive and because of this it is still worth paying attention to.  Staying off of steep rollovers and thin spots, especially slopes getting direct sun will help in avoiding this problem today.

We also looked at some thin spots in the snowpack to assess the deep slab problem.  Weak snow still exists at the ground above 2,000′.  Our tests yesterday showed this weak snow to be non reactive, for now.

Weather
Fri, February 22nd, 2013

In the past 24 hours the mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm have picked up a trace of new snow.   Winds have been very light out of the North and Northwest and temperatures have been in the teens at ridgetops.   The sun made an appearance for several hours during the day yesterday and has created crusts on South aspects.

Today expect to see lingering snow showers giving way to clearing skies in the afternoon ahead of the next approaching disturbance.   Winds will blow 10-20 mph out of the Northwest and temperatures at 1,000′ will be in the mid twenties.

Light snowfall should resume late tonight as a series of weak disturbances continue to move through the area over the next several days.

___________________________________________________

Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, February 23rd.

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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

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
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Closed
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Closed
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Turnagain Pass
Closed
Closed as of May 1. Thanks for a fun, safe season!
Twentymile
Closed
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Carter Lake
Closed
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Closed
Primrose Trail
Closed
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Closed
Snug Harbor
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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.