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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
Mon, December 16th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Tue, December 17th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is MODERATE today above and below treeline.   Snowfall that occured over this past weekend has deposited soft slabs up to 18 € in depth.   These slabs will be sensitive to human triggers today on all aspects and elevations.   Human triggered loose snow sluffs will also be a concern in steep terrain today.  

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Mon, December 16th, 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
  • 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

The storm that dropped 12-18” of new snow on Turnagain Pass came down with very little wind and relatively cold temperatures.  The rate of loading was slow enough to not create widespread natural activity.  Over time this new light density snow has formed into more cohesive slabs.  Yesterday we received numerous reports of low volume slab activity around Turnagain Pass.  All activity observed and reported yesterday ran on a crust that formed earlier in December.

The crust that exists below this new snow is fairly uniform in its distribution (i.e. is similar on all aspects and elevations).  The new snow is also uniform in its distribution.  The interface between this crust and new slab has shown poor bonding in many areas.  As such, all aspects above and below treeline are harboring soft slabs that will continue to be sensitive to human triggers.  Throw in the occasional pocket of buried surface hoar into the mix and it becomes trickier to figure out where the most sensitive areas are.  Your best bet for avoiding this problem today is to stick to lower angled terrain.

Graham-Seattle 12-15-13

Soft slabs triggered remotely in steep terrain off of Seattle Ridge.  (photo: Wagner)

Avalanche Problem 2
  • Dry Loose
    Dry Loose
Dry Loose
Dry Loose avalanches are the release of dry unconsolidated snow and typically occur within layers of soft snow near the surface of the snowpack. These avalanches start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-dry avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs.
More info at Avalanche.org

Loose snow avalanches will begin to come into play a bit more today with cold temperatures helping to weaken the snow surface.  Expect sluffs to run slowly and be low volume.  Pay attention to sluffs in steeper terrain where terrain traps are present.  While the volume will be low the chances for injury will go up if you are knocked over and carried into trees, over rocks or into gullies.

Weather
Mon, December 16th, 2013

The mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm picked up a trace of new snow in the past 24 hours.   Winds have been light out of the Northwest and temperatures have averaged in the single digits F.   Ridge top temperatures early this morning are hovering around 0 degrees F.

Clear and cold is in store today as a ridge of high pressure has built into the area.   Winds will be light out of the North and Northwest.

Weather conditions will remain similar over the next several days.   The next chance for precipitation looks to be late Wednesday into Thursday.

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.