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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
Sun, November 22nd, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Mon, November 23rd, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
The Bottom Line

Sunday, November 22nd UPDATE:

After a series of storms dropped 8-10+” of snow late last week, skiers and snowboarders hit the backcountry yesterday (Saturday). What they found were VERY sensitive wind slabs; the winds not only blew during the storm, but continued on Saturday actively loading slopes. Several  human triggered avalanches  were reported  in the Turnagain Pass area (Details below).  

It is not unusual to have reactive wind slabs in this situation, but what is not as typical is what the slabs are sitting on – weak faceted snow (see video below).  This set up will take some time to stabilize. For today, and into this week, be VERY WARY of slopes harboring stiff wind drifted snow. The most concerning areas are steep and sustained terrain – where getting dragged down a chute or slope can have high consequences – not only for burial but for a rough ride.

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Sun, November 22nd, 2015
Alpine
Above 2,500'
No Rating (0)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
No Rating (0)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
No Rating (0)
Avalanche risk
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Avalanche risk
No Rating (0)
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Avalanche risk
No Rating (0)
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
  • Wind Slabs
    Wind Slabs
Wind Slabs
Wind Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) formed by the wind. Wind typically transports snow from the upwind sides of terrain features and deposits snow on the downwind side. Wind slabs are often smooth and rounded and sometimes sound hollow, and can range from soft to hard. Wind slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
More info at Avalanche.org

Below are several photos from yesterday’s active avalanche conditions. You can read reports for these, and more, on our observations page – thank you to the folks for passing on their information!

As mentioned above, we have a ‘classic’ WIND SLAB avalanche problem out in the mountains. These slabs are scattered about and vary in thickness from 10″ to 2′. The trick is, some of them sit on weak faceted snow and others do not; meaning some slabs will be reactive (avalanche if the slope is steep enough) and others will not. The best method to avoid an avalanche will be avoiding wind loaded slopes – for a while. Unfortunately, facets under a slab can take days or weeks to stabilize, patience is warranted. Another trick is finding areas that were sheltered from the wind, this is where conditions are safer, however this is difficult since the wind found its way into the trees as well. 

Things to watch for:
1) Wind drifted snow, stiffer snow with a smooth rounded shape. 2) Shooting cracks (great photo sent to us below). 3) ‘Whoomphing‘ 

Photo below: Snowboarder triggered avalanche on Tincan, just above treeline (no one was caught).

 

Left photo: Test slope triggered by skier on bottom left.  Right photo: Shooting crack right after test slope failed (Ted Grosgebauer).
  

 

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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

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
Closed
Placer River
Closed
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Turnagain Pass
Closed
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.