Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sat, November 23rd, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, November 24th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

A skier triggered avalanche on Tincan yesterday confirms that the storm snow overloaded the weak layer underneath.  Today we can expect more of the same, but calmer weather and more than 24 hours since the peak of the storm will drop the danger rating to MODERATE.  Human triggered avalanches are possible today, and steeper windloaded features above treeline should be approached cautiously.    

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Sat, November 23rd, 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
  • Storm Slabs
    Storm Slabs
Storm Slabs
Storm Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer (a slab) of new snow that breaks within new snow or on the old snow surface. Storm-slabs typically last between a few hours and few days (following snowfall). Storm-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

The nature of yesterday’s reported avalanche is driving a lot of this advisory today.  We still have a shallow snowpack, so we can’t expect truly large avalanches to happen.  Nonetheless, the new snow from Thursday and Friday (6 inches to 2 feet) is lying on a tenuous layer of weak faceted snow.  The avalanche reportedly triggered sympathetic avalanches nearby.  This is a big red flag for poor bonding and unstable snow.  The report also goes on to say that testing showed “failure on isolation”, another big red flag.  

We can expect the backcountry to be more stable than yesterday, but I have no doubt that trouble can be found if you go jump on a bunch of steep slopes.  Terrain choices will drive safe decisions this weekend – bigger and steeper slopes should be avoided.  

Other places, such as Max’s mountain in Girdwood were showing evidence of natural loose snow avalanches yesterday that stripped the snow to the ground.  See picture below.

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

The bulk of the snowfall on Thursday and Friday came with strong Easterly wind.  Deeper wind deposited snow will be found on West aspects and cross loaded North and South features.  

Weather
Sat, November 23rd, 2013

Another few inches of snow fell yesterday morning, with the freezing rain down at sea level.  Wind has dropped back to more reasonable levels.  The temperature has cooled off from the mid 30s yesterday to the teens and 20s this morning.  

Snow showers are still in the forecast today, but only a few inches at most.  The weather does not appear to be contributing to any increase in the avalanche potential today.  

Observations
Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
01/31/23 Turnagain Observation: Johnson Pass area
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01/28/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst
01/28/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Seattle Ridge
01/28/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Common
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01/25/23 Turnagain Observation: Cornbiscuit
01/22/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Tincan
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Riding Areas
Updated Fri, January 06th, 2023

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
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Placer River
Closed
Closed Jan 5th due to lack of snow (holiday storms rained away the snow at sea level).
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Closed Jan 5th due to lack of snow (holiday storms rained away the snow at sea level).
Turnagain Pass
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Twentymile
Closed
Closed Jan 5th due to lack of snow (holiday storms rained away the snow at sea level).
Seward District
Carter Lake
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Lost Lake Trail
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Primrose Trail
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed to motorized use for the 2022/23 winter season per Forest Plan. Open next season.
Snug Harbor
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Open
Opened Dec 13th.
Summit Lake
Open
Opened Dec 13th.

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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.