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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, March 9th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, March 10th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is generally LOW again today. Triggering an avalanche will be unlikely in the majority of the forecast area. The exceptions are in steep extreme terrain at the upper elevation zones >4,000′ where a remote possibility exists of triggering an old slab or a cornice fall.

**Avalanche danger will rise rapidly in conjunction with heavy snowfall and strong winds beginning early tomorrow morning and possibly through mid-week. The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch beginning Monday morning.

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Sun, March 9th, 2014
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
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
Low (1)
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
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

One more day of dust on crust conditions is on tap for the Pass and surrounding regions. Though we have a mostly stable snowpack and it has been over a week since we have seen/heard of any avalanche activity, there are a few things to keep in mind if you are venturing to the steep upper elevations. These are:

  •      – Cornices. Natural or human triggered cornice failures are possible. We have seen little evidence of these falling recently – but it is still something to be mindful of.

  •      – Slab avalanches and loose snow sluffs. Very steep slopes at elevations over 4,000′ harboring dry snow are suspect for finding a piece of unstable snow. Good travel practices, i.e. only exposing one person at a time, are good ways to manage travel in these ‘extreme’ areas.

A bit on the snowpack:
The snowpack to date is composed of mostly crusts and weak snow near the surface. This, for the time being, is not a problem since there is no ‘slab’ portion to our pack. However, all bets will be off starting tomorrow as a much needed storm is on the doorstep. As we anticipate a new load, knowing the surface conditions is key. Currently, we are set up with a couple inches of weak faceted snow and surface hoar on top of a crust 1-4″ thick. This weak snow over a crust combo is a perfect weak layer and bed surface. Add a ‘slab’ of new snow on top of that tomorrow and it’s pretty easy to see that avalanche activity will be on the rise. It will be good to rein in the powder fever on the steeps this week.

Weather
Sun, March 9th, 2014

During the past 23-hours (one hour less due to daylight savings time…) we have seen mostly clear skies and light winds from the west. Temperatures have averaged in the teens F at most locations. Overnight, temperatures have dropped to the low teens and valley bottoms have dropped even more to ~0F as a temperature inversion has set in.  

Today will be the calm before the storm. Skies should remain mostly clear with high clouds streaming in for the afternoon. Temperatures will climb out of the single digits to near 30F at 1,000′ and up to 20F on the ridgetops. Winds will remain in the 5-10mph range and slowly shift from west to south to east through the day.

It looks like – after months of waiting – a series of ‘classic Chugach storms’ is on the way. Snowfall is expected to begin late tonight and pick up Monday. Models are showing around 1.5″ of water equivalent for late tonight through tomorrow night (that is 14-18″ of snow!). Add to that an additional 1″ of water (10-14″ of snow) for Tuesday. Snow should make it to sea level during this period but may rise to a rain/snow mix for Tuesday. These numbers are for Turnagain Pass and favored areas will likely see more and vice versa. Stay tuned.

With fear of reading too much into the crystal ball….models are showing another pulse of precip for Thursday/Friday and another for Saturday/Sunday.

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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.