Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Wed, December 9th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, December 10th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
CNFAIC Staff
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is MODERATE  in the Alpine.  Winds that blew Monday night into Tuesday morning have created shallow slabs in leeward areas. The most suspect slopes are in steep terrain at the high elevations where the winds have deposited additional snow.  

Look for changing conditions as snow and wind impact the advisory area today and tomorrow.

At Treeline and below the danger is LOW.

*If venturing into the ‘periphery’ forecast zones, such as Girdwood Valley, Silvertip and Summit Lake areas, more caution is advised due to limited information about the snowpack in these areas.

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Wed, December 9th, 2015
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
Low (1)
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
Low (1)
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

The sustained winds from Monday night into Tuesday morning changed the snow conditions in the Alpine. Observers reported pockets of wind slab and scoured ridgelines. While traveling today look for areas that have had recent loading and avoid stiff snow in steep terrain. Watch for cracking and listen for hollow sounds that could indicate the shallow wind slabs may be reactive. 

The Turnagain Pass area received an inch of snow yesterday and more is forecasted for today and tonight. Pay attention to changing conditions and expect avalanche danger to increase as we load up the weak surface snow that formed during the period of high pressure and low danger. 

What has changed or is changing? These should be the questions in the next few days. Look for Red Flags: recent avalanches, cracking, whumfing, recent snowfall and signs of recent wind. These signs of instability indicate heightened avalanche danger and the need for cautious travel behavior. 

Good travel habits, such as exposing one person at a time, watching your partners, grouping up in safe zones and having an escape route planned are, as always, key ways to minimize risk. 

Wind effect and rime crust on Big Chief. Photo: Billy Finley

Weather
Wed, December 9th, 2015

The low in the Gulf is impacting the forecast area today. Skies will be cloudy with snow showers likely throughout the day.  New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches is possible. Highs will be in the mid 20Fs to upper 30Fs. Winds will be variable from the North.  

Snow will continue tonight with an addtional 3-6 inches possible. There is more unsettled weather and snow on tap for later in the week as the pattern continues to push a series of lows into the region.  

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 27    1 .1    23
Summit Lake (1400′)  25 0    0 11  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 24    0  0  18

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 26    NE 7   22  
Seattle Ridge (2400′)  26 NE-SE    7  13
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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

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
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Open
No parking in turnaround at end of the road near the outhouse.
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Open
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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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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Open
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Seward District
Carter Lake
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Lost Lake Trail
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Primrose Trail
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Resurrection Pass Trail
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Closed for the 2020/21 winter season.
Snug Harbor
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South Fork Snow River Corridor
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Summit Lake
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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.