Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Sat, February 7th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, February 8th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW in the Treeline and Alpine elevations today.   Isolated pockets of 6-8 € wind slab may be encountered in the highest elevations around the Girdwood Valley.   It is in these isolated areas, on the periphery of the forecast zone, where the danger is MODERATE.

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Sat, February 7th, 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

It has now been three weeks since the snowpack received any significant load.  In those three weeks a total of 4” of snow fell in 1” increments.  Temperatures have remained seasonable and winds have for the most part been calm.

What this all adds up to is a snowpack that is generally well adjusted.  Triggering an avalanche is possible, but falls into the “outlier” category. 

Low volume loose snow avalanches can be triggered on very steep (>40 degrees) sustained slopes.  Watch your sluff and steer away from it, especially around terrain traps. 

Isolated pockets of recently formed wind slab 6-8” in depth may be found in the higher elevations around the Girdwood Valley.  If you make it into these areas, be on the lookout for stiff and hollow sounding snow on steep leeward slopes.

Glide cracks are scattered throughout the forecast area.  Minimize time spent under glide cracks as they can release without the normal warning signs.

Aside from these snowpack issues you can expect to encounter firm and icy conditions on approaches (see photo below) with rocks and stumps being obstacles to avoid while exiting the mountains.

Icy Tincan approach

Weather
Sat, February 7th, 2015

A much anticipated wind event for Southcentral AK took place over the last 24 hours.   Fortunately Turnagain Pass was spared in this outflow event.   We found winds to be calm on ridgetops while in the field yesterday.   Light plumes coming off of the higher peaks around the Girdwood, Twentymile, and Portage Valleys could be seen occasionally during the day.

Wind in mountainous terrain is not straightforward. Pictured here are plumes coming off a peak above Twentymile from North winds on Feb 6th. The wind anemometer at sea level shows winds out of the South. photo: Fitzgerald

Wind??

Temperatures were cold, with ridgetops averaging in single digits F.

Today will be a cold one, with temps to remain in the single digits F at ridgetops.   Winds will be light out of the North at 5-10mph.   We may see some high clouds streaming in from the East as a result of Low pressure spinning in the Gulf of Alaska.

The extended outlook is showing a welcome change in the overall pattern.   High pressure that has dominated lately will break down and allow for moisture to make its way to the area.   The next chance for accumulating snow will come by Tuesday or Wednesday of the coming week.

*Alyeska Mid station data 7am-2pm due to station malfunction.

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 12 0 0 31
Summit Lake (1400′) 0 0 0 7
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 10 0 0 21*

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 6  ENE 7 23
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 9 S 4 17
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Riding Areas
Updated Tue, January 12th, 2021

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

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Early season conditions exist, including thin ice on rivers, swamps and lakes. Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
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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.