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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
Sun, January 12th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, January 13th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
The Bottom Line

The general avalanche hazard is MODERATE above and below treeline.   However, dense slabs up to 3′ in depth could be triggered in steep upper elevation terrain.   In these areas the avalanche hazard is CONSIDERABLE due to the potential for avalanches to be large.  

The likelihood of triggering avalanches will increase if people venture onto steep slopes, rollovers or convexities.   The likelihood will become greater in this type of terrain where the snowpack is shallow.   It is in these spots where humans are more likely to affect weak layers and produce avalanches.   The consequences, or result of an avalanche have the potential to be severe.   Consequences will be greater in the higher elevations where the overall slab depth is greater.

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Sun, January 12th, 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 has been a week since significant precipitation or loading has occurred in the area.  All of our information over the past seven days has come from tests in snow pits in the mid and lower elevations.  The general trend in our tests has shown us that it is slowly becoming more difficult to trigger an avalanche.  The one variable that has remained the same is the potential for avalanches to propagate across entire slopes.  This fact alone has kept us tip toeing around the mountains lately.  Travel into the more suspect areas (e.g. upper elevation starting zones and steep terrain) has not happened.  This makes it more difficult to truly have a comprehensive understanding of the snowpack.

The foundation of the snowpack is weak.  Faceted snow near the ground is prevalent throughout the area.  The slab that has formed over the past month is between 1 and 3 feet deep, depending on elevation (deeper in the higher elevations).  This slab is strong enough in many areas to support the weight of a person or snowmachine.  The areas where that is not the case are:

Steep rollovers & convexities.
Steep open slopes, generally above 35 degrees and certainly above 40 degrees.
Thin spots in the slab.  Areas with shallow snow that are connected to areas with deeper snow, commonly found along ridgecrests.

It is worth avoiding these areas for the time being.  The weak snow near the ground simply needs more time to adjust to the slab above it.

Weather
Sun, January 12th, 2014

In the past 24 hours the mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm have received no new snow.   Temperatures have averaged 12 degrees F at ridge tops.   Wind direction has shifted overnight and is currently blowing out of the East.   The 24 hour average wind speed was 5mph with gusts to 23mph.

Today will bring another uneventful day in terms of weather in the mountains.   Temps at 1,000′ will reach the mid 20s F.   Winds will remain light out of the East.   There is a slight chance for snow during the day with little accumulation expected.

The beginning of this coming week looks to bring continued clouds and light precip to the area.   The long term outlook is starting to show the potential for more significant precipitation by the middle of the week.

Observations
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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.