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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, April 7th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Tue, April 8th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is generally LOW.   Low volume wet loose avalanches and cornices are potential snowpack issues to deal with today.  

Both of these problems are avoidable by utilizing some practical travel tactics:
Paying attention to the snow on the surface and getting off of steep terrain as the snow becomes damp will help to minimize sluffing and loose snow avalanches.   Steering clear of cornices from above and below is the best way to avoid being in the line of fire of these massive blocks of snow.

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Mon, April 7th, 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
  • Wet Loose
    Wet Loose
Wet Loose
Wet Loose avalanches are the release of wet unconsolidated snow or slush. These avalanches typically occur within layers of wet snow near the surface of the snowpack, but they may quickly gouge into lower snowpack layers. Like Loose Dry Avalanches, they start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-wet avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose Wet avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper snow layers.
More info at Avalanche.org

Over the weekend North aspects saw some natural activity in the form of wet loose snow avalanches.  Surface snow that had become weak during the long dry spell of mid to late March heated up for the first time from a combination of mild temps and cloud cover.  While this activity is on the decline there is still a slight chance for this to occur.  This is a potential issue that exists in isolated pockets, primarily on higher elevation North facing slopes.  The surface snow on all other aspects is currently either damp or refrozen.  A cooling trend in temps overnight have helped to solidify the surface snow.  Today the mercury will climb back into the low 40s F at 1,000’.  While this will weaken the snow on the surface, the effects will be minimal.  Be on the lookout for very low volume wet loose avalanches on very steep lower elevation slopes in addition to steep North facing higher elevation terrain.

Avalanche Problem 2
  • Cornice
    Cornice
Cornice
Cornice Fall is the release of an overhanging mass of snow that forms as the wind moves snow over a sharp terrain feature, such as a ridge, and deposits snow on the downwind (leeward) side. Cornices range in size from small wind drifts of soft snow to large overhangs of hard snow that are 30 feet (10 meters) or taller. They can break off the terrain suddenly and pull back onto the ridge top and catch people by surprise even on the flat ground above the slope. Even small cornices can have enough mass to be destructive and deadly. Cornice Fall can entrain loose surface snow or trigger slab avalanches.
More info at Avalanche.org

Cornices have grown mature throughout the season.  Many higher elevation slopes have these giants looming above them.  Warming temps combined with direct sunlight will help to destabilize these features.  Keep your distance from cornices today.  They are unpredictable and deserve your respect.

Weather
Mon, April 7th, 2014

In the past 24 hours a trace of new snow has fallen above 2,000′.   Ridge top temperatures averaged in the low to mid 20s F.   The Center Ridge SNOTEL station at 1,880′ averaged in the low 30s F with a max reading of 41 degrees.   Winds have been light with the Sunburst station averaging 5 mph out of the East, with a max gust of 18 mph.

Today expect cloudy skies with occasional clearing.   Very light intermittent snow and rain showers can be expected with rain/snow line hovering around 1,000′.   Winds will pick up into the 15-20 mph range out of the Northwest.   Temperatures at 1,000′ will climb back up into the low 40s F.

A chance for continued light snow and rain will continue through Tuesday.   By midweek a ridge of High pressure will develop over the area bringing with it sunshine and mild temperatures.

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Riding Areas
Updated Mon, October 26th, 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

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Closed
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Turnagain Pass
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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.