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Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Fri, December 27th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, December 28th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Kevin Wright
The Bottom Line

Continued red flags, including whoomphing (collapsing) in the snowpack are keeping the danger rating at  MODERATE above treeline. Steeper slopes should be approached with caution, as the slab/weak layer problem is well understood.  Despite the duration we’ve had without new snow, lingering instability is keeping us wary of steeper terrain.

Snow is forecasted for this evening, meaning a small increase in the avalanche danger is expected tomorrow.  

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Fri, December 27th, 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 poor structure of the snowpack is the culprit behind the collapsing that’s keeping us worried.  The most reactive layers we’ve been seeing are the facets above the early December “drizzle” crust (see pit profile here).  This layer is showing a tendency to propagate in some pit tests, and we believe it is the big player in most of the recent natural and skier triggered avalanches. 

Check out Fitz’s video for a discussion of managing the Moderate problem on Thursday.

 

 

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

There remains some evidence of wind slab avalanche activity from the wind storm on Monday.  On Thursday we found numerous mid slope crown lines near Crow Pass from avalanches that presumably happened during that wind event.  We can expect some areas to be holding stiff wind slab that didn’t slide spontaneously, but may be triggered by a person hitting a trigger point.  

Weather
Fri, December 27th, 2013

Weather has been consistently benign since Monday with cold, clear, and calm conditions.  Temperatures are a little warmer at the ridgetops today, so don’t let cold Anchorage temperatures keep you at home today.  

Look for increasing clouds today, and snowfall is expected to commence tonight in Eastern Turnagain Arm.  Up to 4-8 inches of snow is in the forecast for tonight!  

The storm will be short lived as the front sweeps across southcentral Alaska, with snow tapering Saturday morning and ending.

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Riding Areas
Updated Fri, May 01st, 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
Closed as of May 1. Thanks for a fun, safe season!
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.