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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, April 13th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, April 14th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Graham Predeger
The Bottom Line

The SE winds that kicked up yesterday combined with a few inches of snow on tap for today will peg the avalanche danger at MODERATE above treeline where tender wind slabs will be found in the 12-18 € range.   A secondary concern and something to be mindful of as spring grips our region are the looming cornices that have grown heavy and ominous.   Below treeline the danger is LOW where snow coverage is thin.

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Sun, April 13th, 2014
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
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
Moderate (2)
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
  • Wind Slabs
    Wind Slabs
Wind Slabs
Wind Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) formed by the wind. Wind typically transports snow from the upwind sides of terrain features and deposits snow on the downwind side. Wind slabs are often smooth and rounded and sometimes sound hollow, and can range from soft to hard. Wind slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
More info at Avalanche.org

We were able to eek out a few solid days of blue-sky powder skiing (on northerly aspects) before the grey-bird conditions set in yesterday bringing with it moderate winds from the SE.  Winds yesterday began to build shallow wind slabs in the upper elevations where about 6” of loose, unconsolidated snow was available for transport on north aspects. 

                            Loose, unconsolidated snow on a north aspect
                            yesterday will feed building wind slabs today.

SE winds in the 40-55 mph range and 1-5” of new snow forecasted for today will conspire to manufacture tender wind slabs across the advisory area.  Expect bonding to be a mixed bag from ‘stuck-on-like-glue’ to ‘hair-trigger’ given the huge variety of surface conditions that this storm is coming in on.  Any moving snow today should be fairly shallow, relegated to the upper-most layer of new wind deposited snow and likely less of a concern for snowmachiners.  For skiers, quick hand pits and test slopes today should aid in your decision-making process before committing to any big 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

A bit of fresh snow and substantial wind transport will conspire to push looming cornices ever closer to failure.  Without ever really knowing when a cornice may fail it still holds true to simply avoid exposure to these ticking snow-bombs.  This observation (and photo) sent in last spring serves as a good reminder that spring in the Chugach is cornice season!

Weather
Sun, April 13th, 2014

Moderate winds and clouds yesterday dominated the weather across the forecast area with little to no precipitation during the daylight hours.

Grey skies and warmer air will persist as moderate SE winds ramp up throughout the day. We should see scattered and light precipitation in the form of light rain at sea level and 1-5 € of new snow above 1100′.   Temps at 1000′ will be in the range of 31-40 degrees today.   Freezing levels drop to around 700′ at night as moisture tapers off.

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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

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.