Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
No news is good news. Our current stretch of clear weather is reaching 2 weeks, and we haven’t had reports of significant avalanche activity since the end of that last storm.
LOW avalanche danger continues across the region. The mountains are getting tracked up in this extended stretch without snowfall. Steep terrain is getting tested extensively on a daily basis, without triggering avalanches.
Sunny south aspects are getting crusted over by daytime melting and nighttime freezing. North aspects are still cold, east and west are also generally crust free. Soft snow can be found in some places but not likely on south until possibly late in the day.
If we sound a bit like a broken record, it’s because conditions are not changing much day to day. Stability remains very good. Snow quality is variable with some good skiing and riding still to be found.
The most likely mountain hazard right now seems to be unrelated to avalanches or snow stability. 2 helicopter rescues in the last week underscore the hostility of steep terrain even in perfect March weather. This is a good reminder to be prepared and don’t let your guard down, especially when stepping it up to the big mountain steeps. Sometimes crampons, ice axe, a rope and the mountaineering training to use them are warranted in our bigger mountain terrain.
Stability problems to look out for today:
Overhanging cornice features are unlikely to fall spontaneously, unless the temperatures really ramp up today. They may fail if you add some weight and stress by walking/skiing/riding over them. The first rule of cornices is to give them space.
Wet Loose avalanches:
We have yet to see much of this type of activity, but it is coming with longer and warmer days. Keep it in mind on south facing aspects late in the day.
Old Wind Slabs:
Stiff snow is likely to be bonded well to the layers underneath. However, be prepared for small plates to break off in steep terrain. This isn’t really a burial hazard, but rather a “knock you off your feet” kind of hazard, which could be dangerous in high consequence terrain.
The last storm ended on Friday 2 weeks ago.
Skies look clear again today. Wind will continue to be light. Temperatures are freezing hard at night with lows into the teens or lower in some areas. Daytime temperatures are reaching into the high 30s or more by afternoon. The graph is the diurnal temperature fluctuation at Summit Lake from the last several days.
Weather through the weekend looks like a continuation of our current pattern. There is a hinting of a pattern change in the longterm forecast, which may mean more clouds and possible precipitation next week.
|05/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Nick D'Alessio|
|05/12/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan, Sunburst, Magnum, Cornbiscuit||Heather Thamm|
|05/07/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan – Bear Tracks||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||AS/ WW Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Sturgess Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seward Hwy Turnagain Pass||Joel Curtis|
|04/30/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Ayla, Kit Crosby, Barton|
|04/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||John Sykes|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Taylor Pass/Pastoral||Schauer/ Creighton Forecaster|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
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: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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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.