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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Fri, April 12th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, April 13th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

Overall our snowpack has good stability.  The only concerns we’ve been seeing are in the layers near the surface – in the top 2 feet.  Some areas at higher elevation that received more snow recently in addition to wind loading could have pockets of triggerable wind slab.  

Watch out for specific wind loaded features.  Small and shallow 1-2 foot deep avalanches are possible.

Most areas that have not been affected by wind loading will have a low avalanche danger today.

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Fri, April 12th, 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

Recent Activity

We got a report yesterday of a skier triggered avalanche on Raggedtop in Girdwood.  The slide was up to 2 feet deep, 50-75 feet wide, and large enough to bury a person.  See the full description on the observations page.


The wind slab problem has been evident over the last few days in specific wind loaded areas.  Keep in mind that this issue is not found everywhere, but should be expected on certain terrain features.  Wendy’s picture from yesterday is a good example of terrain that holds the wind slab potential.

With an increased north wind expected in the weather forecast today, we will see more of that soft light surface snow blowing around and creating more wind slab.  This problem is going to get a little worse today.

 

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

Yesterday we were able to get soft snow to sluff in steep terrain.  It was fairly low volume, but should be expected on steep slopes and channeled terrain such as chutes and couloirs.  

Sluffing is not likely to carry enough volume to bury a person, but it could be dangerous in very steep or high consequence terrain.

Weather
Fri, April 12th, 2013

Sunny skies are forecasted today.  Temperatures this morning are in the single digits, with an expected daytime warming into the mid 20s.  A north wind should increase today with channeled outflow wind accelerating through some specific areas.  Turnagain Pass will see wind from 12-28 mph.  Seward could reach 40mph, and Whittier could see gusts to 60mph.  


Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 13th.

Observations
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Date Region Location
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03/24/20 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations
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.