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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Wed, December 2nd, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, December 3rd, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Heather Thamm
The Bottom Line

Over the last few days avalanche stability in Turnagain Pass has been trending towards low danger, however with limited information and incremental loading a MODERATE avalanche danger still exists in the Alpine. Human triggered avalanches may be possible in steep terrain above 2500′. Practice safe travel techniques and ease into terrain one at a time, look for signs of instability before committing to steep slopes greater than 35 degrees.

Below 2500′ the danger is LOW where the snowpack is freezing after being saturated over the past week.

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Wed, December 2nd, 2015
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
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
Moderate (2)
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

Over the last few days we have received incremental amounts of snow (5+”) and another 3-5” is expected today. Should snowfall become heavy and/or ridgetop winds pick up beyond the anticipated 10-20mph, be on the lookout for signs of instability. Plain and simple, if you observe any redflags (recent avalanches, shooting cracks, or hear “whumphing” sounds) choose gentle slope angles. 

No new signs of instability have been observed over the past five days since a wet warm storm dumped an upwards of 4′ of heavy snow in upper elevations around Girdwood and Turnagain Pass. In general snowpack conditions have been stabilizing gradually and lots of high quality powder can be found. Caution is advised if poking into steeper terrain, especially on Northern aspects where it can be difficult to assess the snowpack due to generally higher consequence terrain, like cliffs, rocks, and badness.

Remember to always practice safe travel rituals on steep slopes, namely, only expose one person at a time, watch your partners carefully, and regroup in safe zones.

Snow coverage may still be thin near road level, but considering its early December Turnagain Pass is looking good!

Additional Concern
  • Persistent Slabs
    Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) in the middle to upper snowpack, when the bond to an underlying persistent weak layer breaks. Persistent layers include: surface hoar, depth hoar, near-surface facets, or faceted snow. Persistent weak layers can continue to produce avalanches for days, weeks or even months, making them especially dangerous and tricky. As additional snow and wind events build a thicker slab on top of the persistent weak layer, this avalanche problem may develop into a Deep Persistent Slab.
More info at Avalanche.org

Yesterday’s visibility finally allowed for a good look around Turnagain Pass to see some of the aftermath of our last storm. Debris was observed in some of the usual paths, but lots of steep terrain did not avalanche during this last cycle.

On leeward aspects where the snowpack is deep, over 4’ thick, stability is suspected to be pretty good, but there is still little known about windward aspects above 3000’, where the snowpack could be thinner. What we do know is 2-4′ of ‘Thanksgiving’ snow sits on top a variety of old surfaces, one of these being a layer of small facets near the ground. Again, caution is warranted in steep terrain, as an avalanche breaking in the facets near the ground would be large.

Weather
Wed, December 2nd, 2015

Light showery conditions have been the theme of the last 5 days. Winds have been light to moderate; mostly from the East/Northeast and temperatures have been mild, ranging from the mid 20Fs to low 30Fs.

Overnight 1 € of new snow has fallen in Turnagain Pass and 2 € in upper elevations around Girdwood. Temperatures have increased slightly into the low 30Fs at ~1000′. Winds have remained light out of the East/Northeast.

Today snow showers are expected to bring 3-5 € of new snow to the upper elevations near Girdwood and Turnagain Pass. Temperatures may increase above 32F, causing a mix of rain and snow for lower elevations. Easterly winds are expected to be 10-20mph near ridgetops.  

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 28F   1   0.1   25  
Summit Lake (1400′) 25F   2   0.2 12  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 28F   2   0.2 13  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 24F   NE   9   25  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 24F   n/a   n/a   n/a  
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Riding Areas
Updated Wed, December 11th, 2019

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
Closed.
Placer River
Closed
Closed.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
Closed.
Turnagain Pass
Closed
Closed.
Twentymile
Closed
Closed.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Closed
Closed.
Lost Lake Trail
Closed
Closed.
Primrose Trail
Closed
Closed.
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed. Will be open for the 2019/20 season pending adequate snow cover.
Snug Harbor
Closed
Closed.
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Closed
Closed.
Summit Lake
Closed
Closed.

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