Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Fri, January 3rd, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, January 4th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is MODERATE above treeline today.   Steep slopes on a variety of aspects above treeline should be treated with caution.   Large triggers such as snowmachines or groups of riders will increase the chances of triggering slabs up to 2 feet in depth.   Below treeline (especially below 1,800′) the avalanche hazard is LOW, where the snowpack is capped by a thick crust.

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Fri, January 3rd, 2014
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 snowpack around Turnagain Pass is not typical for this time of year.  November and December were dry months with close to record lows in terms of snowfall.  Clear and cold conditions helped to weaken the snow that was sitting on the ground.  This is what comprises the foundation of the snowpack.  

The New Year brought the first significant storm of the season.  This storm started warm & wet and finished cool & dry.  This is what we call a “right side up” storm.  This newest snow has since bonded well to the old snow surface.  

Despite this, we still have that weak snow lurking deeper in the snowpack. It will be possible to get onto slopes without seeing the normal warning signs of shooting cracks or experiencing collapsing.  This is a tricky set up that requires conservative travel practices and digging/testing the snow below the surface.

It will be generally difficult to initiate an avalanche today.  However, the possibility still exists for humans to trigger an avalanche in deeper layers, especially in steep terrain.

(Photo below taken in the afternoon on January 2nd.  These avalanches occured during the day and were triggered remotely by 2 skiers.  Click HERE for more info)

Tincan av 1-2-14.  

Weather
Fri, January 3rd, 2014

In the past 24 hours the mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm have received zero precip.   Winds have been calm and temperatures have been in the low 20s F.

Today expect cloudy skies and snow showers mainly in the morning.   Snow accumulations will be light, in the 1-2 € range.   Winds will also be light out of the South at 5-10mph.

A well orgainzed Low pressure system to the South will bring warm and wet conditions to the area over the weekend.   Heaviest precip amounts look to be arriving Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

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Riding Areas
Updated Thu, April 01st, 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
Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
The Skookum Valley is closed to snowmachines. This closure occurs annually on April 1 as per the CNF Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Twentymile
Open
Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
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.