Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Fri, December 13th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, December 14th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is LOW this morning and will increase to MODERATE above treeline late in the day today.   Snowfall beginning midday, combined with winds will form slabs that will be very sensitive to human triggers.

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Fri, December 13th, 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
  • 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

For the majority of the day the main hazard will continue to be associated with early season conditions; breakable crust and rocks lurking just below a thin layer of new snow.  These are legitimate hazards and require extra time moving through terrain.

A small amount of new snow (~2” on Turnagain Pass and ~4” in Girdwood Valley) coupled with moderate winds out of the East, have created very shallow slabs in upper elevation starting zones.  Slabs are low volume this morning.

As the day progresses, new snow will begin to form slabs that will be very sensitive to human triggers.  The old snow surface consists of pockets of surface hoar sitting on a thin crust.  In areas sheltered from the wind new snow will sluff easily and should run long distances.  Again, these concerns will become more pronounced later in the day.  Should you find yourself out in the mountains as daylight wanes it will be worth avoiding higher elevation starting zones and steep terrain harboring newly formed slabs.

Weather
Fri, December 13th, 2013

The dry spell is over.   The mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm have picked up between 1-4 € of new snow with .1-.2 € of water in the past 24 hours (slightly greater amounts in the Girdwood Valley).   Ridge top winds have shifted overnight and are now blowing out of the East at an average of 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph.   Temperatures have been in the single digits and are starting to creep up into the low teens.

A large low pressure system that is currently to our South is moving north into Prince William Sound.   As this system gains strength and moisture it will begin to scatter snow showers over the forecast area around midday.   Look for snowfall to pick up in intensity by late afternoon with the potential for an additional 8″ new snow by this evening.   Winds will be out of the East at 15-20 mph and temperatures at 1,000′ will warm up into the twenties F.

This system will bring continued snow as well as fluctuating temperatures over the weekend.   Look for the avalanche hazard to increase as new snow, wind and warming temps form new slabs on top of a weak snowpack.

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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.