Turnagain Pass RSS

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Sun, April 7th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Mon, April 8th, 2013 - 7:00AM
John Fitzgerald
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is LOW above and below treeline.   There exists the possibility of triggering shallow pockets of wind slab in upper elevation starting zones.   In those isolated locations the hazard will be MODERATE today.

Special Announcements

Are you going to Arctic Man this year?   Join Alaska Mining and Diving Supply, the Friends Group and CNFAIC Forecaster Graham Predeger for a free “Hoodoo Mountain Snowpack and Avalanche Assessment” field workshop on Wednesday afternoon!   Meet at the AMDS tent at 2PM for a fun and informative afternoon of snowpits and POW as we try to wrap our heads around what the primary avalanche concerns will be for the week!   Contact Graham at graham@chugachavalanche.org for more information.

Sun, April 7th, 2013
Above 2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
1 - Low
2 - Moderate
3 - Considerable
4 - High
5 - Extreme
Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk
Travel Advice Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential. Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
Likelihood of Avalanches Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible. Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely. Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely. Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
Avalanche Size and Distribution Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain. Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas. Very large avalanches in many areas.
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

The weather pattern over the past day has left Turnagain Pass with little to show for in the way of new snow.  Because of this and the current/forecasted weather, the snowpack is stable in most areas.  It’s important to remember that LOW hazard does not mean NO hazard.  While it would take an unusual event to produce an avalanche today, there are some issues to pay attention to:

Isolated pockets of wind slab.  The small amount of new snow that has fallen over the weekend sits on slick crusts on south aspects and surface hoar and facets on north aspects above ~3,500′.  With 2-3″ of new snow & moderate winds forecasted for today, expect pockets up to 6″ deep in leeward starting zones and above cross loaded gullies.  These slabs should not be a problem on their own, but could pose problems for people above terrain traps or in exposed terrain.

Cornices.  Keep your distance from cornices today.  Some of the largest avalanches we have seen in the region over the last month have been related to cornice fall.

Wet loose avalanches will be possible in the lower elevations as the temperatures rise.  These will be small in volume and more likely if the sun makes an apperance.

Sun, April 7th, 2013

The mountains around Eastern Turnagain arm picked up ~2-3″ of new snow over the past 24 hours.   Winds at the Sunburst weather station (3,812′) averaged 11 mph out of the SE.   Temperatures there averaged 16.8 degrees F.

Today expect a mix of sun and cloudy skies with another 2-3″ of snow possible.   Temperatures at 1,000′ will be in the low to mid 30s F.   Ridgetop winds will pick up slightly and blow 15mph out of the S.

The extended outlook calls for a continuation of unsettled weather as we head into the early part of the week.


Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 8th.

Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
05/13/24 Turnagain Observation: Eddie’s, Sunburst, Seattle, Cornbiscuit, Pete’s South
05/13/24 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain Pass non-motorized side
05/12/24 Turnagain Observation: Warm up Bowl
05/07/24 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain Pass Wet Slabs
04/29/24 Turnagain Avalanche: Turnagain aerial obs
04/27/24 Turnagain Observation: Johnson Pass
04/23/24 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain Sunny Side
04/21/24 Turnagain Observation: Bertha Creek
04/20/24 Turnagain Avalanche: Spokane Creek
04/16/24 Turnagain Observation: Cornbiscuit
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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.