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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
Mon, January 13th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Tue, January 14th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is MODERATE above and below treeline today.   It will be possible for humans to trigger dense slabs 1-3′ in depth, especially in upper elevation starting zones, steep rollovers and areas of shallow snow.  

The likelihood of triggering avalanches continues to slowly go down with each passing day.   The consequences remain high for people caught in avalanches.   Slabs have the potential to take out entire slopes, making injury and/or burial a real possibility.

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Mon, January 13th, 2014
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
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
Moderate (2)
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

The bottom of the snowpack around the region is comprised of weak snow.  Over the past month snow has built up on top of that weak base.  Most of that accumulation has been gradual with the exception of two storms between New Years and Jan 5th.  Avalanche activity spiked during and after these two loading events.  

We have also seen human triggered activity happening days after precipitation events.  This fact speaks to the persistent nature of our problem.  The weak snow that is present in the snowpack makes it possible for avalanches to occur well beyond storm events.  It has now been 8 days since the snowpack has received a shock to its system.  

We have not crossed some magical threshold of avalanche hazard from CONSIDERABLE to MODERATE.  Rather, there has been enough time since our last loading event that the likelihood of triggering an avalanche has decreased to the point where it is possible to travel on slopes without incident.  However, if one were to trigger an avalanche today, the end result would be bad news.  Slab depth ranging between 1-3 feet combined with the potential for slabs to propagate across slopes warrant conservative terrain choices.

Avoiding terrain over 35 degrees, convexities, and areas where the snow becomes shallow is your best bet for eliminating the possibility of triggering an avalanche today.

Weather
Mon, January 13th, 2014

In the past 24 hours the mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm have picked up 2 € of new snow with .1 € of water.   Winds at the Sunburst weather station have picked up overnight out of the West averaging 13 mph with gusts to 33 mph.   Ridge top temperatures have averaged 16 degrees F.

Today should bring continued light moisture of up to 2 € of snow by evening.   Winds will be out of the South at 10-15 mph.   Temperatures at 1,000′ will reach the low to mid 20s F.

Tonight should bring a better dose of new snow with 10 € possible in the higher elevations.

The weather pattern will remain active in the region over the next several days, with temperatures climbing and more precipitation on the horizon through mid week.

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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.