Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Fri, March 10th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Expires
Sat, March 11th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Wendy Wagner
The Bottom Line

A  LOW  avalanche danger remains in the backcountry  at all elevations. Although triggering an avalanche is unlikely, it is not impossible. Today’s main question is daytime warming. Watch for East-through-South-through-West-facing slopes to heat up enough to initiate rollerballs and possibly some shallow wet loose avalanches. Other things to watch for are  old hard wind slabs in steep rocky terrain, dry sluffs on steep slopes with soft snow and cornice falls loosening with the warmth. Glide cracks continue to open – limiting exposure under these is recommended.

Remember that good travel habits remain important, even during ‘green light conditions’. This includes exposing only one person at a time on a slope, watching your partners closely and having an escape route planned in case the snow moves.  

Summit Lake, South of Johnson Pass and North (in parts of the Girdwood Valley):  A reminder that the snowpack remains thin with a poor structure. The chance for tiggering an avalanche that breaks in the old weak layers is unlikely but not nonexistent.  

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Fri, March 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

Sunshine and warmer temperatures are on tap. After 11 days of clear skies and cold single digit temperatures, today is expected to be the warmest day since the Northwest winds ripped though during the end of February. Winds are slated to be calm to light from the South and should let the sun do its thing on East, South and West aspects – meaning warm things up to the 20’sF or higher. Keep a close eye on any warming taking place on the snow surface. Soft snow still sits on many slopes and roller balls and wet loose avalanches could occur in these areas. Slopes with old sun crusts or wind slabs/crusts will take much more than the warming today to effect. 

Other things to keep in mind if you are headed to the mountains to enjoy these long sunny days:

Glide Avalanches:
Glide cracks continue to slowly open above popular terrain on Seattle Ridge and in other areas of the advisory area. These could release at any time, watch for these cracks and avoid being under them.

Wind Slabs:
Old and hard winds slabs are easy to find but for the most part they are locked into place. Steep rocky areas, where they are not supported from below, will be the most suspect zones for someone to pop one out. 

Loose Snow Avalanches (Sluffs):
Watch your sluff. Dry sluffs on steep slopes are probable and are getting larger by the day. And, as mentioned above, wet loose (or damp) sluffs, both natural and human triggered, may occur.

Cornices:
Cornices may start to loosen with the warming – as always, give these monsters a wide berth from above and limit exposure time traveling underneath.

Persistent Slabs and Deep Slabs:
There are various weak layers in our thin snowpack. Buried surface hoar sits 1-3+’ below the surface and faceted snow sits in the mid and base of the pack. These weak layers with varying degrees of strength are in a dormant stage due to plenty of time to adjust with a lack of changing weather. Although this means the layers are not producing avalanches, it doesn’t mean an outlier can’t occur which could cause a large avalanche breaking deeper in the pack. 

 

 The most interesting glide crack of the season sits just to the looker’s left of the motoroized up track. We are following this one closely to see if and when it will releases. 

 
A look at Tincan Ridge from the motorized side of the road. Sun crusts are becomming more prevolent, although plenty of soft ‘recycled powder’ is still to be found.

 

A quick look at the Turnagain Pass snowpack from the Center Ridge SNOTEL site. Our snowpack is just over half of normal for this time of year.

Weather
Fri, March 10th, 2017

Sunny skies were over the area yesterday (the 11th day in a row for brilliant sunny skies!). Ridgetop winds were light from the North. Temperatures climbed from around 10F to 15F overnight and sit warmer than they have been for 12 days! That said, an inversion is in place this morning with valley bottoms -10F to 0F.

For today, sunshine and calm winds should warm up the lower elevations to the mid 20’sF, ridgetops should warm as well into the 20’s. It should be a day for sunscreen instead of balaclavas. Ridgetop winds are expected to be around 5mph from the South.

The weekend looks to be similar with sunny skies and warm afternoon temperatures – the ‘nocturnal inversion‘ will likely keep overnight temperatures cold. There is hit for snow in the long term forecast the middle of next week….cross your fingers!

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

  Temp Avg (F) Snow (in) Water (in) Snow Depth (in)
Center Ridge (1880′) 9   0   0   61  
Summit Lake (1400′) 5   0    0 29  
Alyeska Mid (1700′) 13    0  0 57  

RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)

  Temp Avg (F) Wind Dir Wind Avg (mph) Wind Gust (mph)
Sunburst (3812′) 13   SW   4   13  
Seattle Ridge (2400′) 13   N   3   10  
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Riding Areas
Updated Mon, December 02nd, 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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