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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, November 28th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, November 29th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

Happy Thanksgiving!

A few inches of fresh dry snow yesterday will not be changing the overall avalanche danger.  Above treeline remains  MODERATE, for smaller reactive slabs in wind loaded areas.  The backcountry is slowly moving towards stable, in fact the more important safety issue is probably related to exposed rocks and trees with thin snow cover.  

Below treeline is LOW danger with very shallow snow coverage.

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Thu, November 28th, 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
  • Persistent Slabs
    Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) in the middle to upper snowpack, when the bond to an underlying persistent weak layer breaks. Persistent layers include: surface hoar, depth hoar, near-surface facets, or faceted snow. Persistent weak layers can continue to produce avalanches for days, weeks or even months, making them especially dangerous and tricky. As additional snow and wind events build a thicker slab on top of the persistent weak layer, this avalanche problem may develop into a Deep Persistent Slab.
More info at Avalanche.org

When you take your skis off and try to walk around in your boots, the lack of strength in the snowpack is instantly apparent.  My boots sank through all the layers, only stopping at the ground a little more than 2 feet down.  The slab/weak layer combination is still the same as it was last Friday, but not nearly as unstable as it was then.  The same equation is there, with stronger and denser storm snow from Nov. 21st on top of very weak and loose faceted snow.  The reason why we don’t have a big problem at the moment is that the relatively denser slab layer is actually quite soft and not very strong or cohesive compared to the weak layer underneath.  This snowpack still has the potential to become dangerous if we got a wet/heavy storm, but until then the avalanche danger will be isolated.  

Our snowpit tests indicated relatively good stability.  An extended column test revealed no tendency to propagate.  If someone were to venture into steeper wind loaded terrain, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of reactive wind loaded pockets.  The main deterrent from going those places will be thin snowcover and exposed rocks rather than the avalanche conditions.  Click here for a more detailed writeup on the pit profile below.

Weather
Thu, November 28th, 2013

Turnagain Pass received roughly the same amount of snow yesterday as Anchorage did.  That 3-5 inches of light, dry snow certainly improved the surface conditions, but still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of adequate snow depth.  

It looks like our precipitation is shut off for the next few days.  We can expect colder temperatures by this evening, remaining in the single digits or teens for the rest of the holiday weekend.  Expect a moderate NW wind in the mountains today, 25-45mph.  Clouds today will give way to clear skies by this evening.  

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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
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Snug Harbor
Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor
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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.