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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
Sun, March 31st, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, April 1st, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger will remain MODERATE today above treeline for both wind slab avalanches and wet loose snow avalanches. Wind slabs formed two days ago were still reactive yesterday and though on the decline, should still be watched out for today. Additionally, natural and human triggered wet sluffs will be possible where warm temperatures will again moisten the snow surface on south, east and westerly aspects predominantly. Last, cornices deserve a wide berth with continued warm conditions.

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Sun, March 31st, 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

Wind slabs formed during Friday, 3/29’s 8-10” of snow were still releasing yesterday. These were in the foot deep category and on all aspects above treeline. A few observed were: one natural that occurred on the east face of Seattle Ridge and one on the southerly tip of Tincan Proper. Check the obs page for a few more details from other observers. The sun and warm temperatures likely played a role in increasing the instability of the slabs.

Today I’m expecting these to be harder to trigger but still the primary concern due to their slab nature. The snowpack is quite variable currently with wind slabs sitting on crusts on south, east and westerly aspects (some of which have facets surrounding them) and on old wind crust/slabs on northerly aspects. Quick hand pits looking for easy shears between snow layers in the top 12-18” of the pack is one good tool to suss out any slab that has yet to heal.

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

Wet point release and damp point release avalanches should be expected today on south, east and westerly facing slopes approaching 40 degrees and steeper. Watch for rollerballing in the surface snow and be suspect of areas and aspects where the snow surface is warm and gloppy.

 

 

 


Additional Concerns:
Cornices. Warm temperature are known for contributing to the failure of cornices. A good thing to keep in mind when planning your route.

Surface Conditions:
Yesterday’s warmup affected the south, west and easterly aspects as well as below treeline locations. These areas that became damp or wet yesterday are likely undergoing a superficial refreeze now but should moisten through the day. Upper northerly aspects sport variable wind affected, but dry, snow.

Weather
Sun, March 31st, 2013

It was a WARM day yesterday with temperatures reaching the 40deg mark at sea level and 30F at 3,000′. Skies were partly cloudy with a few flurries (drizzle below 1500′) late in the day. Winds were light from the east (5mph gusting 15mph). The last measurable snowfall was 8-10 € on Friday 3/29.

This morning we are looking at mostly cloudy skies, fog and temperatures around freezing (32F) at 1,000′ and ~20F on the ridgelines. Temperatures should rise to the upper 30’s at 1000′ and upper 20’s at 3,500′. A chance for an inch of snow is on the radar (drizzle below 1000′) as instability showers are over the region. Winds are from the east currently, 10mph gusting ~15mph, and should remain today. I’m hoping the cloud cover will burn off a bit for the CORN HARVEST so cross your fingers.

Monday, and through the early part of this week, it looks as though a high pressure ridge will build over western Alaska. This should bring us light northerly wind and mostly clear skies.


Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 1st.

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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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Skookum Drainage
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Turnagain Pass
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Closed as of May 1. Thanks for a fun, safe season!
Twentymile
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Carter Lake
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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.