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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, December 5th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, December 6th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

Low  avalanche danger continues in the mountains of Turnagain Pass.  The snowpack consists of weak shallow snow with pockets of unreactive wind slab at higher elevations.  Freezing rain and warming temperatures are the big weather news for today.  Those changes will likely not cause much change to the bigger picture in terms of snow stability for today.

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Thu, December 5th, 2013
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
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
Low (1)
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

If I had to pick one of our avalanche problems to talk about a primary concern, then wind slab would be the one.  We have not seen any pockets with a tendency to pop under the weight of a person.  Even in the places where stiff surface snow can be found, it has a stubborn, low tension nature.  

In areas that are not exposed to wind, the snowpack is 15-30 inches of weak faceted snow.  The cold and clear temperatures combined with shallow snow have formed a steep temperature gradient and changed the snow to big sugary crystals.

The snowpack is shallow…  Exposed rocks and vegetation are abundant.  That lack of coverage is probably the biggest safety concern for skiers and snowboarders in the backcountry right now.

Weather
Thu, December 5th, 2013

It has been nearly a week since significant snowfall.  Cold temperatures and clear skies gave way to a big change yesterday, but not the white stuff that we were hoping for.  Temperatures at some ridgetop weather stations are above freezing this morning.  A freezing rain advisory is in effect for Anchorage and the greater region, including Girdwood and the Kenai peninsula.  Driving conditions deteriorated yesterday evening with a slick glaze of ice on the roads, and that freezing rain will continue today.  

Freezing rain is expected to form a surface crust on our snowpack.  This isn’t an avalanche concern for now, but may become a weak layer interface when the crust gets buried by later snow storms.  

Observations
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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

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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.