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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
Wed, January 21st, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, January 22nd, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Graham Predeger
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW across the forecast area at all elevations today.   In addition to early season hazards below 1500′, potential cornice fall (on well-traveled ridges) and glide avalanches in the mid-elevations (2,000 €“ 3,000′) will warrant attention today.  

Soft surface snow on a supportable crust does exist above 2500′, making for fun powder skiing in the upper elevations.

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Wed, January 21st, 2015
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
No Rating (0)
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
No Rating (0)
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

Still one of the greater hazards if venturing into the backcountry on skis today is the ingress/ egress to get on snow and then back to your vehicle at the day’s end.  Ice, alder, open water and a general lack of snow below 1,500’ all add up to be the greatest challenge you are likely to encounter in the backcountry today.  Avalanche problems that call for increased awareness and attention today include:

Cornice Fall:

Cornices have grown quite large along some well-traveled ridges in Turnagain pass right now.  Do not trust these backcountry bombs.  Stay well back from corniced ridges and make sure your partners are doing the same.  Every year, cornices catch both professionals and novices’ off-guard as these have a tendency to break much further back on a ridge than you may expect.

Glide avalanches:

Glide cracks are still proving active across the advisory area either further opening up or releasing entirely causing large, destructive avalanches.  Similar to cornices, do not trust a glide crack.  Though moving at a glacial pace, these are totally unpredictable and can release suddenly and without a real trigger.  It’ll be important to continue to limit your time spent underneath any known glide cracks today and for the remainder of the season.

Glide crack below Eddie’s ridge is suspected to have released at some point over the last 3-days without any real trigger.  Notice the dark bed surface in the center of the frame, just above the shadow line.  photo: Wendy Wagner

Wind slab:

Any winds above about 20mph will have the potential to build shallow wind slabs today as the surface snow in the upper elevations is ripe for transport.  Pay attention to the surface, if you see any snow being transported from wind, shallow slabs (6” – 8”) are forming on leeward slopes.  

Weather
Wed, January 21st, 2015

Sunny skies dominated the forecast area again yesterday above a shallow layer of valley fog.   The forecasted North winds never really showed up as ridgetop winds averaged in the single digits all day.   Temperatures stayed cool with low 20’s F at ridgetops, cooling off to the mid-teens later in the day at 1,000′ as an inversion began to set up.

Today expect more of the same in terms of clear skies above low-level fog.   Temperatures are inverted this morning with 10 degress F at 1,000′ and 20 degrees F at the top of Sunburst (3800′).   Winds are expected to be light out of the North in the 7 €“ 15mph range.

I am pleased to report that he National Weather Service is issuing a SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT  for €œWinter arriving in Southcentral Alaska €.   Confidence is increasing that there will be a significant change in the weather pattern in the form of accumulating snow and dropping temperatures Thursday night and into Friday!

PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 19   0    0  30
Summit Lake (1400′) 14    0  0  6
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 20    0  0 19  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′)  21  WNW  7 17  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 18.4   N/A Wind   sensor   is rimed.  
Observations
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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.