Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sun, December 8th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, December 9th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

We continue to have an overall LOW avalanche danger in the mountains surrounding Turnagain Pass. Pockets of MODERATE danger may develop mid-day with surface warming on sunny slopes. Human triggered avalanches are unlikely except in isolated areas where wet point release avalanches may become possible. These isolated areas are steep (more than 40deg) slopes with a southerly aspect.

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Sun, December 8th, 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
  • 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

During the past two days we have seen a handful of wet point release avalanches due to our unseasonably warm spring-like weather. Yesterday they were confined to steep sunny slopes during the middle part of the day where the sun – yes, even as low as it is right now – was able to melt the surface crusts. Similar conditions should be on the radar today. This is a fairly straightforward avalanche problem to manage. Steer clear of any steep slope with wet, mushy and unsupportable snow. The clear skies overnight have likely refrozen the melted surfaces from yesterday but the sun coupled with the ambient above freezing temperatures may be enough to melt these southerly aspects again. 

Photo below is a wet point release avalanche on Tincan from yesterday 12/7 (SW, 3,500′). VIDEO HERE.

The slope has to be quite steep (over 40deg) for these avalanches to initiate but once they do they can gain enough momentum and run quite far. Debris can also be funneled through steep gullies and this can become a very real hazard for ice climbers. A report was sent in from the Portage Valley on Friday of an older debris pile near a popular ice climbing area.

Weather
Sun, December 8th, 2013

Valley fog covers most low-lying areas this morning as it did yesterday. Above the fog, skies are mostly clear and temperatures warm, in the 30’sF. Sunburst is reporting 38F at 6am and should remain in the 30’sF for the day along with most mid and upper elevations. Skies should be sunny today – again, above the fog – and winds light from the west.

This should be the last day of spring-like weather. Starting Monday cooler temperatures move in and Tuesday we have a chance for a few flurries as a weak system brushes by us from the west. It does not look like we will accumulate much in the order of snow with this system.

Observations
Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
05/21/22 Turnagain Avalanche: Magnum, Lipps and Tincan
05/17/22 Turnagain Avalanche: Sunburst
05/17/22 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Ridge
05/11/22 Turnagain Avalanche: Cornbiscuit and Magnum west faces
05/07/22 Turnagain Observation: Granddaddy
04/29/22 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst wx station
04/28/22 Turnagain Observation: More Turnagain Pass/Summit Lake wet slab activity
04/27/22 Turnagain Observation: Magnum
04/27/22 Turnagain Observation: Girdwood/Summit/Turnagain Road obs
04/24/22 Turnagain Avalanche: Seattle Ridge – large glide avalanche on Repeat Offender path
Riding Areas
Updated Fri, May 13th, 2022

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
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Placer River
Closed
Closed as of April 25th due to insufficient snow coverage.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Closed as of April 1st per Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Open. Extended opening through May 31.
Twentymile
Closed
Closed as of April 6th due to insufficient snow coverage.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Primrose Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Snug Harbor
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Summit Lake
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.

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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.