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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Wed, April 10th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, April 11th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

Several inches of light dry snow covers the surface in most areas of our region.  The areas we covered yesterday did not show signs of avalanche potential besides minor sluffing of the dry surface snow.  

Watch for areas with older stiff wind slab that may have formed over the weekend.  A few more inches of cold snow may fall today, but with only minimal wind expected it should not contribute to the avalanche potential.  

Recent snowfall has brought more snow to the Anchorage area, so don’t expect to find deeper powder by driving south.

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Wed, April 10th, 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

Sluffing was easy to initiate yesterday with the ultra dry layer on the surface.  Steeper confined terrain like chutes and couloirs could likely entrain enough volume to knock someone off their feet.  

From the avalanche perspective, loose snow is a manageable concern.  Use the terrain to let the sluff fall away and to the side of your line, stop periodically to allow it to pass, or keep enough speed to stay in front of it.  

Avalanche Problem 2
  • 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 appeared to be strongest overnight through the channeled terrain of Turnagain Arm.  Sunburst station showed relatively little wind.  In those areas that saw gusting into the 20s we may have wind slab at higher elevations.  The dry nature of the recent snowfall makes that snow easy to pick up and move around by the wind.  Many of the weather stations showed a northwest wind direction, meaning that south and east facing slopes are most likely to have wind slabs.  

Besides the surface snow, the underlying bed surface may contribute to the problems.  Southerly faces and anything that got sun exposure in the last week will have a thick crust under the new snow.  That crust may contribute to poor bonding of other layers and complicate the issues.  

Weather
Wed, April 10th, 2013

Temperatures dropped overnight, with ridgetop temperatures near 0 degrees or colder in some areas.  Sea level is in the mid teens, and we will see some daytime increase.  

A small amount of snow is in the forecast and some areas got a few inches overnight.  Expect any snow to be very light and dry.  

Northwest wind will stay minimal, less that 10mph.


Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 11th.

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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.