Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

Archives
ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Tue, January 10th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Expires
Wed, January 11th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

There is a generally  LOW  avalanche danger in the mountains surrounding Turnagain Pass. Although triggering a slab avalanche is unlikely, old hard wind slabs 1-3′ thick sitting on faceted snow remain. With the right amount of force (several people and/or snowmachines) it may not be impossible to get a slab to pop out. Most suspect areas are unsupported slopes in steep rocky terrain. Steep rocky slopes on Southerly aspects are also suspect for wet loose avalanches due to unseasonably warm temperatures at the upper elevations. Additionally, watch for glide cracks and avalanches, as these may be active this week.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Tue, January 10th, 2017
Alpine
Above 2,500'
Low (1)
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
Low (1)
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
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

Blue skies, light winds and an uncharacteristically strong inversion continue to dominate our weather. Temperatures reached over 40F on some ridgetops yesterday, this is hard to believe from the single-digit cold air trapped in valley bottoms and parking lots. We got a report of a wet loose avalanche that ran in steep rocky terrain yesterday (photo below). With warm temperatures again today, these small wet loose slides, under rocks heated from the sun, are possible. If you decide to ride/ski on these steep South facing slopes, watch for surface warming in the top few inches of the snowpack and know that triggering a wet loose avalanche is possible.

Despite the ‘green light’ conditions, remember the snowpack has a poor structure on upper elevation slopes that have not avalanched and were loaded by past winds (mainly North and East aspects). Hard wind slabs sit on faceted snow and/or buried surface hoar. Triggering a more dangerous slab that breaks in these layers is unlikely, however with the warm temperatures and variability across the region, it’s not impossible. Keeping up with safe travel protocol is key (exposing one person at a time, grouping up in safe zones and having an escape route planned).

Small wet loose avalanche on South facing Tincan Proper yesterday. Likely triggered by rocks warming loose snow in very steep rocky terrain directly facing the sun. Thanks to Nick Crews for passing this on to us! Read more HERE.

 

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

Glide avalanches possible this week:  Continued warm temperatures at the upper elevations may enhance ‘glide’ in the snowpack. Watch for glide cracks to open up and a few may release. This pattern is similar to last week when 3 glide cracks released. Known cracks exist on the South face of Eddie’s, Goldpan (behind the Magnum ridge), East face of Seattle Ridge (Northern end) and Southerly slopes near Johnson Pass.

Weather
Tue, January 10th, 2017

STATE OF THE SNOWPACK??:

Below is a quick look at the snowpack, in terms of how much there is today compared to other years on this day. For snow depth, we are sitting at  the 2nd thinnest January 10th, yet there are only data since 2004 when the sensor was installed. For  SWE (Snow Water Equivalent),  we  are sitting at just over half of what we would normally be for this time of year. It has been 12 days since the last snowfall and it’s clear we are in need of a refresh!

_____________________________________________________________________

It was a sunny balmy day yesterday in the high elevations – temperatures at 4,000′ were right around 40F. This is quite a contrast to the cold frosty single-digit-air trapped in the valleys. Ridgetop winds yesterday were light and variable and skies were clear.

Overnight, the upper elevation temperatures remained in the high 30’sF while valley bottoms, sitting in the cold pool, are anywhere between -5 and +15F. Temperatures should rise a few degrees during the day, similar to yesterday. Ridgetop winds are expected to be light, 5-10mph from the Northwest and skies clear.

As we keep looking into the weather model “crystal ball” for the next precipitation event, it looks like we could get some cloudy skies and flurries for the weekend.  

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 24   0 0   34  
Summit Lake (1400′) 10   0   0   11  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 25   0   0   22  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 39!!   W   4   10  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 34   variable   3   8  
Observations
Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
04/09/21 Turnagain Observation: Girdwood to Turnagain Road Observations
04/05/21 Turnagain Avalanche: Resort bowl Seattle creek head wall
04/04/21 Turnagain Observation: Center Ridge
04/03/21 Turnagain Observation: Repeat Offender – Seattle Ridge
04/02/21 Turnagain Observation: Seattle Ridge
04/01/21 Turnagain Observation: Pete’s
03/31/21 Turnagain Observation: Tincan
03/30/21 Turnagain Observation: Eddies
03/30/21 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst North
03/28/21 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst
Riding Areas
Updated Thu, April 01st, 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
Johnson Pass
Open
No parking in turnaround at end of the road near the outhouse.
Placer River
Open
Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Skookum Drainage
Closed
The Skookum Valley is closed to snowmachines. This closure occurs annually on April 1 as per the CNF Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass
Open
Twentymile
Open
Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Open
Lost Lake Trail
Open
Primrose Trail
Open
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed
Closed for the 2020/21 winter season.
Snug Harbor
Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Open
Summit Lake
Open

Subscribe to Turnagain Pass
Avalanche Forecast by Email

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.