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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, December 3rd, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, December 4th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
CNFAIC Staff
The Bottom Line

The overall avalanche stability in Turnagain Pass continues to trend towards LOW danger, however with the variability in snowpack depth and structure, a MODERATE  avalanche danger still exists in the Alpine. Human triggered avalanches may be possible in steep terrain above 2500′. Practice safe travel techniques, ease into terrain one at a time and look for signs of instability before committing to slopes greater than 35 degrees.

Below 2500′ the danger is  LOW  where the snowpack has frozen after being saturated last week.

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Thu, December 3rd, 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
  • 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

The aftermath of the avalanche cycle November 27th/28th is evident in the terrain on Turnagain pass. There were a number of large slides in the Alpine but much of the steep terrain did not avalanche during this last cycle. It has been almost a week since our significant loading event and there have been no recent signs of instability reported. Recent snow has provided great riding conditions and folks have been enjoying the mostly stable return to winter in the advisory area.

We continue to be suspect of steep, primarily northerly terrain that still may harbor facets that formed during the early November cold snap. Digging and probing yesterday highlighted that variability of snowpack depth and structure. Areas that are shallow and that have stiff snow over weak facets (sugar snow) are the main concern. This poor structure still has the potential to present as a Persistent Slab avalanche. This could be especially hazardous in steep, high consequence terrain where even a small slide could take you for a dangerous ride. Probing and trying to investigate the depth and layering in the terrain you are choosing to ride are recommended before committing to big lines. 

We have limited information on the snowpack characteristics in the Girdwood valley and the Summit area. Both zones also have variability and warrant caution when venturing into avalanche terrain.

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.

Photo: D3 avalanche in Superbowl/Corner Pocket reported on November 29th. We believe this slide occurred during the November 27th/28th cycle. The remnants of the crown are highlighted in red. 

Weather
Thu, December 3rd, 2015

We had mostly clear skies yesterday, light winds and temperatures the mid-20Fs as a ridge moved over the region. Today will be partly to mostly cloudy with snow showers developing as the next low effects the advisory area. Snow is expected to be light with the possibility of a brief heavier shot of snow overnight. Snow amounts forecasted are for 2-4″ today and 1-3″ tonight. Winds will be light and Easterly and temperatures will be in the 20Fs to mid-30Fs.

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 26   0   0   25  
Summit Lake (1400′) 21    0  0  21
Alyeska Mid (1700′)  30  0  0  18

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′)  23 NE   10    21
Seattle Ridge (2400′)  24 NA   NA   NA  
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Riding Areas
Updated Fri, May 01st, 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
Closed as of May 1. Thanks for a fun, safe season!
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.