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 10th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, January 11th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is CONSIDERABLE above treeline, where dense slabs 2-3′ in depth sit on top of weak snow. It will take large triggers such as snowmachines or groups of people to initiate an avalanche.   Avalanches in the upper elevations have the potential to be large and destructive today.  

Below treeline, (especially between 1,200-2,000′) the hazard is MODERATE.   Steep terrain, rollovers, and areas with shallow snow are key spots to avoid in the lower elevations today.

Below 1,200′ the snowpack is capped by a thick crust and avalanches are unlikely.

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Fri, January 10th, 2014
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Considerable (3)
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
Considerable (3)
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

It’s been 5 days since the last significant storm and subsequent avalanche cycle.  In the time since this last storm the weak snowpack has been able to adjust to this newest load.  Each day it becomes more difficult to trigger avalanches.  The weak layers near the bottom of the snowpack have also slowly gained strength.  

However, the problem has not gone away.  Weak snow near the ground continues to show the potential to produce large avalanches.  Potential slab depth ranges from 1 foot in the lower elevations to 3 feet near ridge lines.  

The potential also exists for avalanches to propagate across entire slopes.  Because of these factors, it is important to continue to treat all slopes, especially above 35 degrees, with suspicion.  The obvious warning signs (recent avalanches, shooting cracks, collapsing) will potentially not show themselves.  Now is a time when it is important to know what is below the surface.  When entering avalanche terrain it is important to practice good travel habits; expose only one person at a time, stop in islands of safety, and communicate plans within your group.

Weather
Fri, January 10th, 2014

In the past 24 hours the mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm have received a trace of new snow.   Ridgetop winds have been light out of a variety of directions averaging 3mph with gusts to 11mph.   Temperatures have been on a slight decline with current ridgetop stations reading 15-18 degrees F.

Today expect cloudy skies with occasional flurries.   Winds will be light out of the NW at 5-10mph. Temperatures will warm into the high 20s F at 1,000′.

The long term outlook calls for a continuation of cloudy conditions with only light precipitation and a gradual cooling pattern.   The next chance for more significant precipitation looks to be towards the middle of next week.

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Riding Areas
Updated Fri, May 13th, 2022

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
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Placer River
Closed
Closed as of April 25th due to insufficient snow coverage.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Closed as of April 1st per Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Open. Extended opening through May 31.
Twentymile
Closed
Closed as of April 6th due to insufficient snow coverage.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Primrose Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Snug Harbor
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.
Summit Lake
Closed
Closed as of May 1 per Forest Plan.

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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.