Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
Today the avalanche danger is MODERATE in the alpine. Human triggered wind slabs 4-10 € are possible today and into the early evening above 2500′.
The avalanche danger below 2500′ will remain LOW, but look out for rocks, ice, and dirt which will be extra difficult to see as new snow covers these early season hazards below 1500′.
*It’s also important to note several additional concerns- pay attention to ridgelines with large cornice features and avoid slopes with glide cracks (2000-3000′.)
Mark you calendars for January 23rd when the APU Outdoor Studies Department and Alaska Avalanche School present Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Backcountry Film Festival!! A night of entertainment, raffle prizes and a chance to rekindle our winter stoke is on tap. This is an AAS and F-CNFAIC fundraiser – a great way to support local avalanche education and information. Hope to see you there!
Do you ski or snowmachine in Hatcher Pass? The Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center (HPAC) and the Alaska Avalanche School (AAS) are leading an Observer’s Workshop for backcountry enthusiasts who are interested in submitting snow and avalanche observations to the HPAC. More info can be found by clicking here.
Today we are expecting 2-4″ of new snow above 1000’, with an addtional 3-6″ arriving later today and into this evening. This morning ridgetop winds have picked up to 15-25mph from the East and are expected to remain moderate throughout the day. This could be just enough wind and new snow to form tender wind slabs (4-10”) in upper elevations above 2500′.
These wind slabs could be easily triggered on steep features (>35°) like convexities, along gullies, or just below a steep ridgeline. Pay attention to leeward slopes that are loading and make a note of how much snow is falling throughout the day.
Over the last few days’ cold temperatures have been weakening the surface snow by creating near surface facets. 2-6″ of poorly bonded snow crystals are sitting on top of a firm bed surface (a dense wind slab at elevations above 3000’ and a melt/freeze crust at lower elevations.) This set up is less than ideal as we go into a storm cycle – depending on how the storm arrives this could be our next weak layer to track in the coming days.
Many cornices have formed along ridgelines in the alpine throughout Turnagain Pass and Girdwood. These large unsupported snow formations are difficult to see sometimes or until you’re too close for comfort. Be aware of areas that have well formed cornices and give them extra space if you plan to travel along a ridgeline.
We have been continuing to monitor glide activity over the last week, with the most recent glide avalanche occurring several days ago on the South Face of Eddies. Glide cracks are unpredictable and it can be challenging to understand the exact nature of what triggers a glide to release. It is best to avoid traveling under or on slopes with large crevasse looking cracks.
Yesterday skies were clear, winds were light, 5-10mph, shifting from the East to the West throughout the day. Valley fog kept temperatures in the single digits (6-10F) at lower elevations with ridgetops reaching low 20’s F.
As of early this morning ridgetop winds have picked up to 15-25mph from the East and temperatures have also started to increase at upper elevations (low 20’sF.) No new precipitation was recorded in the last 24 hours.
Today 2-4 € inches of snow is expected this afternoon with an additional 3-6 € into the evening. Ridgetop winds are expected to remain moderate (15-20mph) throughout the day with temperatures steadily increasing to 30F.
More snow, up to 6 € is forecasted for Friday. Temperatures should remain in the upper 20’sF to low 30’sF and ridgetop winds are expected to be light to moderate.
*Seattle Ridge wind speed data was unavailable until 4am this morning. The below average/gust/dir are from 4am – 6am today.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||16||0||0||30|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||9||0||0||6|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||15||0||0||19|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||15||*ENE||*16||*34|
|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.