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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sat, March 16th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, March 17th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

Stability is excellent across the region, and avalanche danger will start off the day as LOW at all elevations.   The small amount of new snow 2 days ago did build some shallow windslabs, but nothing very notable or dangerous was reported yesterday.   Late in the day south aspects should be approached with more caution if the temperature ramps up today.   Wet loose avalanches are possible due to sun exposure at lower elevations.  

Get out and enjoy the backcountry this weekend.   Snow quality is variable, but pockets of powder can be found if you avoid the sun crust.  

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Sat, March 16th, 2013
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
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
Low (1)
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

Small pockets of wind slab were found occasionally yesterday from the 4-5 inches of new snow that fell on Thursday.  Loose snow sluff in the non-wind affected snow was also common, but less of an issue if you use good sluff management technique.  Wind slab is most likely found at higher elevations, below ridgetops, and in steep terrain.  Both the slabs and the sluffs are shallow and low volume, so as avalanches by themselves they are not a huge concern.  The bigger concern is related to the consequences of the terrain such as cliffs or no-fall zones. 

Cornices remain a low probability but high consequence avalanche problem.  These large overhanging features have the potential to produce the largest avalanches today.  Choose your lines to avoid cornice exposure, and always give them a wide berth when traveling on ridge crests.

Avalanche Problem 2
  • Wet Loose
    Wet Loose
Wet Loose
Wet Loose avalanches are the release of wet unconsolidated snow or slush. These avalanches typically occur within layers of wet snow near the surface of the snowpack, but they may quickly gouge into lower snowpack layers. Like Loose Dry Avalanches, they start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-wet avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose Wet avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper snow layers.
More info at Avalanche.org

It’s mid March already.  The sun has some significant power that has already built a series of crusts on south facing slopes.  As the temperatures rise this afternoon, wet loose snow may start to move at lower elevations on south exposures.  Cold temperatures this morning may delay the wet cycle, and any cloud cover will also prevent the surface snow from warming.

Weather
Sat, March 16th, 2013

Yesterday was one of those perfect Alaska days.   Today looks like more of the same.   Temperatures are cold this morning, reaching negative temperatures in a few places.   Most areas are comfortably in the teens.   As soon as the sun hits we can expect rising temperatures for the rest of the day.   Partly cloudy skies are forecasted.   Wind should be almost non-existent.  

We can expect a similar weather pattern for the rest of the week with no major storms on the horizon.  


Wendy will issue the next advisory on Sunday, March 17th.

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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
Johnson Pass
Closed
Placer River
Closed
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Turnagain Pass
Closed
Closed as of May 1. Thanks for a fun, safe season!
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.