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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Tue, November 29th, 2016 - 7:00AM
Expires
Wed, November 30th, 2016 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
The Bottom Line

A MODERATE avalanche danger continues in the mountains surrounding Turnagain Pass. Slab avalanches 1-2 feet thick may be triggered on all aspects and elevations above 1,500 feet. Watch for fresh wind slabs to form today along ridgelines as Northerly winds are expected to increase. Slabs may also be triggered in sheltered areas with softer snow where buried surface hoar exists. Glide avalanches also remain a concern as glide cracks continue to open.

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Tue, November 29th, 2016
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Moderate (2)
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
Moderate (2)
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
  • 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 was a quiet and cold day on the Pass. There were no new avalanches seen or reported despite roughly 30 vehicles filling the parking lots. The last human triggered avalanches were on Sunday in the Seattle Creek drainage, you can see that report HERE. That said, there is still a significant portion of terrain that has not been touched and uncertainty exists, especially on these slopes. 

The fact remains that a layer of buried surface hoar sits roughly 1-2 feet below the surface and observers continue to find it reactive. The most suspect slopes are ones that have not avalanched in the past two weeks, since the layer was buried on Nov 16. These slopes can be a bit tricky to suss out. So what does one do? It depends on your personal risk tolerance – if choosing to get onto steeper slopes use safe travel practices:

  • Expose one person at a time
  • Group up in safe zones
  • Have an escape route planned
  • Watch your partners and where other groups are around you
Avalanche Problem 2
  • 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

Winds are forecast to pick up today from a Northerly direction. With loose snow remaining in areas, fresh wind slabs are likely to form on leeward slopes. These will likely be shallow but still could pose a problem if deposited where the Nov 16 buried surface hoar sits underneath, or in steep terrain with high consequences. Keep your eye out for what the wind is doing with the snow today.

**Sunburst weather station will hopefully be back online in the next couple days.

Additional Concern
  • 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

Watch for glide cracks and remember to limit time under these, there have been a handful that released last week. *Several cracks have been opening in popular terrain like Tincan’s Common bowl and the SW face of Sunburst.

Weather
Tue, November 29th, 2016

Yesterday was cold and clear. Temperatures reached the single digits at most elevations. Winds were light and variable and there was no precipitation.

Today, Tuesday, another cold single-digit-day is on tap. North winds along ridgetops are forecast to bump into the 20-30’s mph and will help chill the day even more. Ridgetop temperatures have increased slightly and sit in the mid-teens. No precipitation is expected.

The next chance for snow looks to be Wednesday night into Thursday – stay tuned!

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 10   0   0   19  
Summit Lake (1400′) 9   0   0   3  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 12   0 0   4  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) N/A   N/A     N/A     N/A    
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 12   Variable   5   21  
Observations
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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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