Share your feedback! Share your feedback!

How’s our new website?
How can we better serve you?

Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, April 25th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, April 26th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

The shot of rain and snow has passed, with sunny weather and colder nighttime temperatures back in the mix.  This morning will start with a  LOW  avalanche danger, which will increase to  MODERATE  as the daytime temperatures heat up the surface crusts.  

A lot of small wet avalanches will be visible on the mountains today, which mostly happened during the storm on Tuesday.  Wet avalanche problems are one of larger concerns, but the deeper snowpack still has quite a bit of strength as it remains colder.  

Higher up in the mountains you can find drier snow and some corresponding wind slab issues from new snow.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Thu, April 25th, 2013
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Avalanche risk
Moderate (2)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Wet Loose
    Wet Loose
Wet Loose
Wet Loose avalanches are the release of wet unconsolidated snow or slush. These avalanches typically occur within layers of wet snow near the surface of the snowpack, but they may quickly gouge into lower snowpack layers. Like Loose Dry Avalanches, they start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-wet avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose Wet avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper snow layers.
More info at Avalanche.org

Wet avalanches will be a concern in the afternoon, mostly on sunny south facing slopes and primarily at lower elevations.  Overnight temperatures briefly dipped below freezing at sea level last night, which is colder than two nights ago.  

Sometime soon we expect to see a more dramatic warmup of the entire snowpack, at which point stability will become a major concern with larger avalanches a possibility.  I don’t think we are at that point today, but it can be a tough threshold to predict unless we actually see it happening.  Backcountry travel should be more careful late in the day as warmer temperatures cause stability to get worse.  If you start seeing spontaneous avalanche activity and you can sink your foot deep into the snow with ease, it’s time to be back at the car or another safe location.  

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

You can still find winter at higher elevations.  The recent storm dropped at least 5 inches of new snow in some areas, which will be deeper on wind loaded slopes.  Be aware that this new snow could be sitting on slick melt/freeze crusts, especially on south facing slopes.  

Additional Concern
  • Cornice
    Cornice
Cornice
Cornice Fall is the release of an overhanging mass of snow that forms as the wind moves snow over a sharp terrain feature, such as a ridge, and deposits snow on the downwind (leeward) side. Cornices range in size from small wind drifts of soft snow to large overhangs of hard snow that are 30 feet (10 meters) or taller. They can break off the terrain suddenly and pull back onto the ridge top and catch people by surprise even on the flat ground above the slope. Even small cornices can have enough mass to be destructive and deadly. Cornice Fall can entrain loose surface snow or trigger slab avalanches.
More info at Avalanche.org

I continue to be impressed at the size of looming cornices this late in the season.  Colder than normal temperatures have been keeping ridgetop melting to a minimum.  Just like wet slab problems, cornices will lose strength as they heat up late in the day.  They will become increasingly unstable and may collapse spontaneously with warm enough temperatures.  Watch your exposure, especially late in the day when temperatures are highest.

Weather
Thu, April 25th, 2013

Center ridge gained at least half an inch of water equivalent at Turnagain Pass over the last couple days.  At higher elevations this means 5 or more inches of new snow.  

Temperatures last night dropped to 31 degrees at sea level, colder at higher elevations.  We can expect a thin surface crust on the snow this morning.

Today’s weather is expected to be sunny and warm.  High temperatures will reach the mid 40s at sea level.  A north wind is expected, which may channel into strong wind at Whittier and Seward.  


We will issue the next advisory on Saturday, April 27th.

Observations
Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
05/06/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Pastoral Peak, north face
04/10/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Wolverine
04/10/20 Turnagain Observation: Eddies lookers right shoulder
04/09/20 Turnagain Observation: Bench Peak
04/04/20 Turnagain Observation: Tincan
04/04/20 Turnagain Observation: Pete’s North
03/26/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Tincan – Proper (SW facing)
03/26/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Seattle Ridge
03/25/20 Turnagain Avalanche: Sunburst Uptrack @ 2000′
03/24/20 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain – Road Observations
Riding Areas
Updated Mon, October 26th, 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
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

Subscribe to Turnagain Pass
Avalanche Forecast by Email

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.