Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
In Turnagain Pass the avalanche danger is LOW above 1500′, both in the alpine and at treeline. LOW danger does not mean No danger; if venturing into extreme terrain isolated wind slab pockets 4-6 € thick and loose snow avalanches could be found and triggered on slopes steeper than 40 °. Both of these hazards are unlikely to bury a person, but could take you for a ride in undesirable terrain.
Below 1500′ only a few inches of snow covers the ground; not enough to issue an avalanche danger rating, but just enough snow to hide other hazards like rocks, ice, and dirt.
Over the last week the weather has been relatively benign with some ridgetops seeing periods of sustained moderate winds. Shallow pockets of wind deposited snow can be found up to 6” in places. These shallow wind slab pockets are sitting on poorly bonded faceted snow, but have been mostly non-reactive in the Turnagain Pass zone. Less information exists in Summit Lake, Portage, and Girdwood Valley as well as upper elevations above 4000’. Within this larger zone there are places that have received more exposure to wind and finding a tender wind slab is possible. A wind slab if triggered is unlikely to bury a person, but could take you for a ride in the wrong spot. Use caution in high consequence terrain steeper than 40°.
Only a trace of new snow was measured in the last 24 hours with only an additional inch expected today. If we receive more than a few inches today, you may see “sluffing” on steep terrain. In general this is a low hazard, but if riding or skiing on slopes steeper than 40° pay attention. Loose snow with enough volume and momentum can knock you off your feet.
No new glide activity or movement has been observed in the last few days. New snow and poor visibility can make it difficult to identify areas with glide cracks present. Use safe travel protocols when stopping to take a break and be aware of your run-out distances from terrain above you.
Low snow coverage
Below 1500’ low snow coverage is deceiving with only a few inches of new snow covering rocks, ice and vegetation. Take your time getting in and out of the alpine today.
View looking from Seattle Ridge South with Sunburst in the distance. Coverage is thin in the valley bottom, but looks much more like winter!
Yesterday light snow fell throughout the day with only a trace of accumulation in both Girdwood and Turnagain Pass. Winds were light to moderate (5-15mph) from the East near Sunburst and Southwest at Seattle Ridge. Temperatures were in the low to mid 20’sF.
Only a trace of snow is forecasted for today and skies are expected to clear this afternoon. Temps should be in the low to mid 20’sF. Ridgetop winds are expected to be light (5-10mph) from the Southeast.
Tomorrow is looking very similar with more weak frontal air pushing into Western Prince William Sound. We may see scattered snow showers, but again we’re only anticipating a trace of new snow. Winds should be light to moderate from the East with temperatures in the mid to low 20’sF.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||25||trace||<0.1||31|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||20||2||.2||7|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||23||trace||.03||19|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||25||SW||8||18|
|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.