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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
Sat, April 26th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, April 27th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is MODERATE above treeline, where new snow and wind has created 10-14 € slabs on leeward slopes that will be sensitive to human triggers.   These slabs will grow larger as snow continues throughout the day.

Below treeline the avalanche danger is also MODERATE, but for different reasons.   Rain and warm temperatures have weakened the snow surface below 1,800′.   It will be possible for humans to trigger wet loose avalanches in steep lower elevation terrain today.

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Sat, April 26th, 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
  • 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

Winds out of the East coupled with 8-10” of new snow in the higher elevations have created slabs that will be easy to trigger this morning.  These slabs will range in depth from 10-14”.  With more snow and wind in the forecast, expect these slabs to increase in depth and sensitivity.  These slabs will be most sensitive as they are forming.

With winds blowing predominantly out of the East, it is safe to assume that West aspects will be wind loaded today.  However, as wind interacts with terrain, it often changes direction.  Because of this it is important to learn how to recognize wind loaded terrain features.  Look for smooth, rounded and pillowy surfaces.  Shooting cracks are commonly found on wind loaded features and are an obvious sign of unstable snow.

Avoiding wind loaded areas will be your best bet for managing this avalanche concern today.

Avalanche Problem 2
  • 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

Rain and above freezing temperatures have and will continue to create weak surface snow.  In terrain over 40 degrees in the lower elevations be on the lookout for human triggered wet loose avalanches to move slowly.  There is potential for these to gain enough mass to knock a person over and increase chances for injury.  If you are sinking more than a few inches below the surface, it is time to back off of steep terrain.

Weather
Sat, April 26th, 2014

In the past 24 hours 8 € snow containing .8 € of water have fallen at the Center Ridge SNOTEL site.   Rain/snow line has fluctuated between 500′-1,800′.   Winds have been blowing steadily out of the East, with Sunburst averaging 25 mph (max gust 49 mph).   Temperatures at ridge tops have been in the mid 20s F (Sunburst 24 hr avg=23.2 F)

Today expect more precipitation, with the bulk of it arriving later in the day.   As much as 5 € of additional snow can be expected by sunset.   Winds will continue to be in the moderate range, 25-35 mph out of the East.   Rain/snow line should hover around 1,500-1,800′.   Temperatures at 1,000′ will reach into the low 40s F.

Unsettled weather will persist through the weekend.   Moving into the early part of next week drier conditions should take over as the Low currently stalled over the area makes an exit.

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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.