Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
A LOW avalanche danger remains in the backcountry at all elevations. Although triggering an avalanche is unlikely, it is not impossible. With today’s 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 thinner in these areas with a poor structure. The chance for triggering an avalanche that breaks in the old weak layers is unlikely but not nonexistent. Read the Saturday Summit Summary HERE.
Yesterday was the warmest day we have seen in almost two weeks. There were no reports of wet loose avalanches or significant roller ball activity but Southerly surfaces were warming up and becoming wet/damp. Today will be another day to pay attention to surface conditions in the afternoon on East to South to West slopes. Steeper slopes and slopes under rock bands will be most suspect. Keep a close eye on any warming taking place on the snow surface. Soft snow still sits on many slopes and roller balls could occur in these areas and a there is chance of shallow wet loose avalanche activity. Slopes with old sun crusts or wind slabs/crusts will be slower to be affected by the warming.
Other things to keep in mind if you are headed to the mountains to enjoy these long sunny days:
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.
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 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.
Glide cracks North of the uptrack. A series of cracks like these extend out Seattle Ridge to the North at this elevation.
Yesterday was mostly sunny and was the warmest day we have seen in almost two weeks. Temperatures rose into the high 20Fs by late afternoon. There was also some high clouds that moved in later in the day. Winds were light and from the Southeast. Temperatures dropped back down into the teens and single digits overnight.
Today is forecasted to be fairly similar with temperatures in the high 20Fs and light NW winds. Skies will be mostly clear with a few lingering clouds this morning. Tonight temperatures will drop into the teens. Tomorrow the sunshine will continue and temperatures will be slightly cooler. This pattern looks to persist into early next week and then there is a change with a chance for clouds and snow in the later half.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||16||0||0||60|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||13||0||0||29|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||22||0||0||56|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||17||SE||9||17|
|05/22/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Nick D'Alessio|
|05/12/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan, Sunburst, Magnum, Cornbiscuit||Heather Thamm|
|05/07/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan – Bear Tracks||CNFAIC Staff|
|05/05/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seattle Ridge||AS/ WW Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Cornbiscuit||Schauer/ Sturgess Forecaster|
|05/02/23||Turnagain||Observation: Seward Hwy Turnagain Pass||Joel Curtis|
|04/30/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum||Ayla, Kit Crosby, Barton|
|04/29/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan||John Sykes|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Taylor Pass/Pastoral||Schauer/ Creighton Forecaster|
|04/28/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan||Andy Moderow|
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: email@example.com
|Area||Status||Weather & Riding Conditions|
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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.