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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
Sat, December 21st, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, December 22nd, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

Human triggered avalanches have been reported in the last 24 hours.  The most significant that we know of is this report from Summit.   Snowpack structure remains poor, and red flags such as whoomphing are common if you break trail.  

The danger rating is  MODERATE for persistent slab concerns, especially in areas that have a stiffer wind slab on the surface.  Natural avalanches are unlikely but human triggered avalanches are possible in steep terrain.  

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Sat, December 21st, 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 interface that we have found most likely to fail is around the early December freezing-drizzle crust.  This layer is now buried 12-18 inches or deeper in wind loaded areas.  See this observation for a pit profile.  Every new bit of snow adds stress to those layers, but we haven’t had any large storms to overload the snowpack to widespread failure – meaning no large natural avalanche cycle.  This leaves some areas on the brink of failure, waiting for a trigger to release that energy.  A lot of people have noticed widespread whoomphing as the layers collapse when a person walks or rides on the snow.  In a few cases the slope was steep enough to avalanche when that collapse happened.  

A small amount of new snow today will add to the stress in the snowpack, but probably not enough to cause natural avalanches.  The overall avalanche problem today will be similar to the last few days.  

Photos from Tenderfoot, above Summit Lake from Friday.

Weather
Sat, December 21st, 2013

A little bit of snow fell overnight.  About 2 inches of new are on the ground as of 6am.  A moderate east wind has been steady through the night, gusting to a peak of 27 at Sunburst.  

Another 2 inches of snow is expected to fall through the day today.  Temperatures are approaching freezing, and may pass that mark at lower elevations.  A freezing rain advisory is in effect, mainly in the interior Kenai from Turnagain pass to Moose pass.  

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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.