Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, December 26th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, December 27th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The danger rating continues to be  MODERATE above treeline for the persistent weak layer around the December drizzle crust.  We’ve had a number of small, low volume avalanches on this layer in the last week.  As the weather has not contributed to instability in the last few days, the avalanche likelihood is slowly decreasing.  

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Thu, December 26th, 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
  • 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 weak layer above the crust continues to show signs of poor strength and a tendency to propagate.  Somebody traveling in the wrong place may still pop a slab avalanche.  

The photo below illustrates the full depth (31 inches) of the snowpack at 2000 ft.  The most pertinent result from the test was the failure above the crust, which propagated in an extended column test.  The snowpack is showing moderate strength, with poor structure and a slick crust interface.

As recently as yesterday we got a report of whoomphing from the Tincan area.  This tells us that a person can still initiate a collapse.  A collapse occurring on a steep slope may trigger an avalanche.

Avalanche Problem 2
  • 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

Spontaneous, natural avalanches were observed during the windy conditions on Monday.  We know that areas near ridgetops, above treeline are still holding pockets of stiff wind slab from that wind event.  As is normal, a little more caution is warranted when approaching ridgelines where wind blown snow will be expected.  The denser and stiffer layers near the snow surface complete the recipe for the most probable way to find an avalanche today.  

Weather
Thu, December 26th, 2013

It has not snowed since Sunday.  Weather over the last few days has been clear and cold with light wind.  

A temperature inversion can be found in some areas.  It is quite a bit warmer than Anchorage this morning.  Sunburst sits at 23 degrees, Center ridge at 18, and Seattle ridge at 25 degrees.  Wind at the ridgetops is very light.  Mostly clear skies are expected today with patchy fog in the valleys.  

There is snow in the forecast for Friday night and Saturday!  Cross your fingers…

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Riding Areas
Updated Tue, January 12th, 2021

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
Open
No parking in turnaround at end of the road near the outhouse.
Placer River
Open
Early season conditions exist, including thin ice on rivers, swamps and lakes. Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Skookum Drainage
Open
Early season conditions exist, including thin ice on rivers, swamps and lakes. Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Twentymile
Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake
Open
Lost Lake Trail
Open
Primrose Trail
Open
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed for the 2020/21 winter season.
Snug Harbor
Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Open
Summit Lake
Open

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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.