Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast
There is a generally LOW avalanche danger in the Turnagain, Girdwood and Portage areas. Triggering a slab avalanche is unlikely. Watch for sluffs on steep shaded slopes and give cornices a wide berth. Glide cracks are moving, minimize travel under them as they can release at anytime.
SUMMIT LAKE / SILVERTIP: More caution is advised south of Turnagain Pass as the snowpack is thin and harbors old weak layers. There is potential for a person to trigger a slab avalanche on steep slopes. See additional concerns below.
PORTAGE LAKE and BYRON GLACIER TRAIL: Heads up that thin ice has been reported on Portage Lake. Additionally, the popular snow cave past the end of the Byron Glacier Trail is very dangerous and unstable. If you didn’t see this video from February check it out.
After 8 days of brilliant sunny skies and springtime temperatures, a few clouds and cooler air is slated to move in today. The decrease in temperature will limit wet avalanche activity on south facing slopes and avalanche danger has dropped to Normal Caution (LOW danger). Over the past week, avalanche activity has been related to afternoon warming on southerly facing slopes. This triggered a number of wet loose slides, a few moist slabs and a few glide avalanches. As the southerly slopes now sport a solid sun crust, which may not soften today, and wet avalanches are not expected, glide avalanches are the exception moving forward. Things to keep in mind if you are headed out today:
Glide avalanches on the lower portion of Raggedtop Mtn, releasing yesterday (3/1). Photo taken from Girdwood.
Recent wet loose avalanche activity in upper Glacier Creek / Girdwood Valley.
South of Turnagain – Summit Lake and Silvertip zones: For anyone traveling in this area note that a shallow snowpack with a generally poor structure exists. A variety of old weak layers (facets and buried surface hoar) sit in the mid and base of the snowpack. It is uncertain as to how reactive these layers are at this point and if they could produce a slab avalanche. We do know whumpfing has been observed in the Summit area and last Thursday’s (2/21) wind event triggered many large slab avalanches breaking in deeper weak layers. Assessing the slab as well as the weak layer will be important. Old wind slabs in steep terrain sitting on weak snow are the most suspect places to trigger an avalanche.
Yesterday: Sunny skies with light and variable winds were over the region. Temperatures climbed into the mid 30’sF along the high peaks and mid elevations, while valley bottoms reached 30F. Overnight, temperatures have only dropped to the teens at most low elevations while ridgetop temperatures have dropped to the teens as well – limiting the inversion.
Today: A few clouds are slated to move in today along with a chance for valley fog. The ridge of high pressure is weaker and that has decreased temperatures in the Alpine and increased them at sea level. Daytime highs should reach the mid 20’sF along ridgelines and the mid 30’sF in the low elevations. Ridgetop winds will be light from the east, 5-10mph.
Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy skies with a chance for a snow flurry or two will be over the area. No accumulation is expected. Mountian temperatures look to remain in the teens to 20’sF while ridgetop winds will be light from the east.
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880′)||29||0||0||59|
|Summit Lake (1400′)||21||0||0||28|
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)||30||0||0||54|
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)||30||E||5||12|
|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.