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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, March 14th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sun, March 15th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
John Fitzgerald
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW at the Alpine and Treeline elevations.   Isolated pockets of wind slabs and low to medium volume loose snow avalanches could be triggered in very steep terrain.

Low snow cover and icy conditions on the approaches require careful and creative travel today.   Yes, it’s mid March but early season conditions exist between 1,000-2,000′.

Potential frostbite conditions will continue today.   See the Mountain Weather section for more details.

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Sat, March 14th, 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 been close to a week since high winds and snow created unstable conditions.  In that time temperatures have plummeted and the snowpack has adjusted in areas that saw significant loading.  With that in mind, there are still two issues to be aware of today:

Wind slabs
Isolated pockets of stiff wind slab up to 10” thick exist in many areas.  For the most part it is very difficult to trigger one of these pockets.  In terrain over 40 degrees be on the lookout for these pockets and minimize your exposure by moving one at a time when encountering this snowpack/terrain combo.

Loose Snow Sluffing
Skier and rider triggered sluffing will be possible in the few areas that were not affected by recent winds.  On steep sustained slopes over 40 degrees expect sluffs to be fast moving and have enough volume to knock you over.  Be aware of your sluff and move away from it before it gains volume.

As always, practicing effective terrain management techniques will be important in managing these minor issues as well as help to reinforce good habits for times when the snowpack is less stable.
-Expose one person at a time on suspect slopes
-Identify and utilize islands of safety for spotting and re grouping
-Recognize and identify escape options when assessing your route
-Communicate decisions and route options within your group
-Be aware of other groups above and below

Weather
Sat, March 14th, 2015

Temperatures over the past 24 hours have remained frigid, with ridgetops in the negative digits and just above 0 F at 1,000′.   Winds were light out of the Northwest.   Skies were mostly clear and no precipitation fell.

Today will be more of the same with temps climbing slightly onto the positive side of 0 F along ridgetops.   Winds will increase slightly as well out of the Northwest at 10-15 mph.   Remember it only takes a little wind to increase the potential for frostbite.
 
A shift in the pattern will take place as we move through the weekend.   Clouds and warmer temps will move in ahead of a low moving across the Alaska peninsula tonight.   Snow will begin tomorrow and last into the early part of next week.

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 2 0 0 43
Summit Lake (1400′) 1 0 0 9
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 3 0 0 26

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) -9 WNW 6 16
Seattle Ridge (2400′) -5 n/a 10 31
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Riding Areas
Updated Mon, October 26th, 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

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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.