Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sat, March 30th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, March 31st, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Yesterday snowed most of the day, with precipitation shutting off around 9pm last night.  Up to a foot of new snow accumulated in some higher elevation areas with a moderate southeast wind.  Above treeline a  MODERATE  avalanche danger can be found for wind slab created during the last 2 days.  Pockets of unstable snow can be found today, but are generally isolated to wind loaded features.

Skiers and riders in the backcountry today should be wary of stiffer snow on steeper terrain.  Non-wind affected areas will be less of a concern.

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Sat, March 30th, 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

Nearly all the activity we’ve seen recently can be classified under wind slab.  Fortunately everything we’ve seen has been low volume and isolated to small pockets.  The photo below is from 2 days ago on Tincan.

Since we just got a significant additional load of new snow and wind, this concern is worse today.  Snowfall was heavy enough yesterday to limit visibility and prevent anybody from getting above treeline.  We haven’t seen firsthand the areas of highest concern, but we know it’s been snowing and blowing.  

South facing slopes will add another layer of complexity.  Multiple layers of buried sun crusts can be found on sunny aspects.  We don’t know how those layers will react to the moderate additional snow load, but it’s worth considering that new snow doesn’t bond easily to slippery crusts.  Stability aside, those crust layers may affect the quality of skiing and riding on south aspects.

 

Avalanche Problem 2
  • 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

In areas that were not wind affected we can expect loose snow to sluff easily in steep terrain.  Anywhere the wind didn’t stiffen up the surface and slope angles exceed the mid 30 degrees you should expect snow to sluff and entrain volume on the way down.  This could be a problem if surprised or in steep channeled terrain.  

Weather
Sat, March 30th, 2013

Snow totals for the last 24 hours

Turnagain Pass snotel – 8 inches

Alyeska midway – 10 inches

Summit lake mountains – 6 inches

Wind has been trending from the southeast in Turnagain Pass with variations depending on the location.  Temperatures are warmer than they’ve been, producing mixed rain and snow at sea level.  Above 1500 feet the snow is dry.

Today’s weather calls for scattered snow showers.  The bulk of the precipitation has passed.  Expect a slight cooling trend and a diminishing trend with the wind.  


Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, March 31st.

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Riding Areas
Updated Tue, April 20th, 2021

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
Open
No parking in turnaround at end of the road near the outhouse.
Placer River
Open
Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
The Skookum Valley is closed to snowmachines. This closure occurs annually on April 1 as per the CNF Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Twentymile
Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake
Open
Lost Lake Trail
Open
Primrose Trail
Open
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed for the 2020/21 winter season.
Snug Harbor
Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Open
Summit Lake
Open

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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.