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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
Thu, March 17th, 2016 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, March 18th, 2016 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Heather Thamm
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is MODERATE in the mid elevation band between 1000′-3000′ where glide cracks continue to release naturally and without warning. In the Alpine, a generally LOW avalanche danger exists, but due to the glide problem below terrain choices remain limited. Chose your routes wisely to avoid glide cracks, and be on the lookout for changing conditions that could raise the danger in the alpine.  

*If you are headed to the Summit Lake area don’t forget to check  Summit Lake Summary, and click HERE  for a recent observation of glide activity in that area.

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Thu, March 17th, 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

Glide cracks continue to avalanche daily and without warning throughout our region. Yesterday we spoke with two snowboarders who witnessed a glide release on the SW face of Tincan while they were on the Sunburst ridge. New glides avalanche debris was seen on the SE side of Seattle Ridge, S face of Max’s, and several new ones in the Twentymile drainage.

Glide cracks cover all aspects within the mid elevation band (between 1000-3000’) and remain a significant threat to popular terrain. As long as glide cracks continue to open up, move and release, we will stress the importance of avoiding them, 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. 

A view of the SW aspect of Tincan where recent glide avalanches were observed yesterday from Sunburst. Click HERE to see more pictures of glide activity from the past week.

 

  Penguin Ridge experienced a very active cycle this week. Keep in mind the debris can run into snow free areas and threaten some summer trails, especially around Girdwood Valley and Portage.

 

 

 

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

Yesterday 3” of new snow was observed above 2000’ and only a trace is expected today. Easterly ridgetop winds ranged from 10-20mph and a similar pattern is expected today. Should winds trend towards the later or exceed 20mph, there is enough snow available for transport the hazard could rise. Pay attention for blowing snow along ridgetops and how well this new snow is bonding the surfaces below. Be aware of how the sun is heating up the new snow on solar aspects and if you see any obvious signs of instability like shooting cracks or recent avalanches be prepared to change your plans. Remember LOW danger doesn’t mean NO danger, one of these avalanche problems is still possible in very steep terrain.

Wind slabs: Yesterday there were several short periods of sustained 10-20mph winds and we did find one very small pocket that produced a shallow shooting crack along the Sunburst Ridge. Be on the lookout for pillows of newly drifted snow and active wind loading – it is possible that steep terrain could harbor tender isolated wind slabs.

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. 

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. 

 

 

Weather
Thu, March 17th, 2016

Yesterday skies were mostly sunny and mid elevation temperatures reached the low 40’s F.   Ridgetop winds were light from the SW with a short period of moderate winds that switched to an Easterly direction mid-day. Overnight temps were in the 20’s F and no new precipitation was recorded.

Today isolated snow showers are only expected to bring a trace of new snow. Skies will be cloudy, but patches of blue sky are possible. Easterly ridgetop winds could range from 10-20mph today and temperatures may increase into the mid 30’s F mid-day.

Tomorrow a similar pattern is anticipated with the next possibility for snow fall Friday night into Saturday.    

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 31   0   0   134  
Summit Lake (1400′) 30   0   0   43  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 31   trace   0.02   108  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 24   SW – E   9   38  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 25   S – E   7   17  
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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
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Closed
Primrose Trail
Closed
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Closed
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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.