Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Wed, March 16th, 2016 - 7:00AM
Expires
Thu, March 17th, 2016 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Aleph Johnston-Bloom
The Bottom Line

Heightened avalanche conditions exist below about 3,000′ where the avalanche danger is  MODERATE.   Glide cracks have been very active this week, producing large and destructive avalanches in mid-elevation terrain and some have run into low elevation snow free zones. In areas not affected by glide cracks (above ~3,000′) there is a generally  LOW  avalanche danger.  Watch for changing conditions as the weather pattern shifts.

*If you are headed to the Summit Lake area don’t forget to check  Summit Lake Summary  here.

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Wed, March 16th, 2016
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Treeline
1,000'-2,500'
Moderate (2)
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
Moderate (2)
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
  • Glide Avalanches
    Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches are the release of the entire snow cover as a result of gliding over the ground. Glide avalanches can be composed of wet, moist, or almost entirely dry snow. They typically occur in very specific paths, where the slope is steep enough and the ground surface is relatively smooth. They are often proceeded by full depth cracks (glide cracks), though the time between the appearance of a crack and an avalanche can vary between seconds and months. Glide avalanches are unlikely to be triggered by a person, are nearly impossible to forecast, and thus pose a hazard that is extremely difficult to manage.
More info at Avalanche.org

Yesterday was again an active one for glides with new glide avalanches being observed throughout the day. As noted in the advisory yesterday it is getting harder to keep tabs on what is new and what is from the previous day. Luckily we have some terrific observers and photo records to help document the progression. In discussions with long time snow professionals they have all remarked that there is a very unusual glide problem this winter, with the past 10 days being one of most active cycles they can ever remember. Glide cracks threaten a lot of prime ski and snowmachine terrain in the mid-elevations (1,000-3,000’).  Keep in mind the debris from these can run into snow free areas and threaten some summer trails, especially around Girdwood Valley and Portage.

As long as glide cracks continue to open up, move and release, we will stress the importance of avoidance, which is THE ONLY WAY TO MANAGE THIS AVALANCHE PROBLEM.  Remember these are totally unpredictable, release naturally and could be deadly if you were to get caught-up in that amount of snow. It is the entire winter snowpack releasing at the ground. 

Penguin Ridge glide avalanche progression from 7 pm on Monday, 9 am Tuesday and 1:30 pm Tuesday. Photos: Tim Glassett

 

Avalanche Problem 2
  • 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 a quiet few days in the Alpine with no reported human triggered avalanches since the weekend. Today a weak storm system will be affecting the region. This is not forecasted to produce much precipitation or be particularly windy. If conditions change more rapidly than expected the hazard could rise. As new snow falls observe how well it bonds to the surfaces below. Practice safe travel protocol and avoid multiple skiers or riders in avalanche terrain simultaneously.  Pay attention to your surroundings and adjacent parties.  Remember you may find one of these avalanche problems listed below and choose your terrain wisely.

Cornice fall: Very large cornice features loom over many ridgeline and have a tendency to break further back than expected. Give them lots of space, and limit exposure time under them. 

Loose snow: Sluffs are fast moving and will be proportional to the slope you are on today.  Big terrain will yield big sluffs, particularly on cooler, drier northerly aspects.  On slopes with a southern tilt, wet loose avalanches could be initiated later in the day if we get windows of sunshine.  The biggest threat with both of these is the potential to get knocked off your feet in steep, committing terrain. 

Wind slabs – On shaded aspects in very steep terrain it is still possible to find an old isolated wind slab. We saw several of these in the 8-12” range on Saturday and Sunday relegated to very steep (45 degrees or greater), unsupported terrain. 

Weather
Wed, March 16th, 2016

Yesterday was mostly overcast with a mixture of clouds and sun. Temperatures were in the mid 20Fs to high 30Fs and winds were light and easterly.  

Today will be mostly cloudy with scattered rain and snow showers throughout the day. 1-5″ of snow is forecasted to fall above 1100′. Winds will be southerly 5-15 mph with locally higher gusts.  

The cloudy skies and rain and snow showers are expected to continue until mid-day Friday with a small break and another system moving in for the weekend.  

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 32   1   .1   134  
Summit Lake (1400′) 33 0  0  42
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 32 1 .06 107  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 24    E  6 16  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 25  ESE 11   20
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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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