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Mon, December 9th, 2013 - 7:00AM
Tue, December 10th, 2013 - 7:00AM
John Fitzgerald
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is LOW today.   Colder temperatures after several days of warm weather have helped to €œlock down € the surface of the snowpack.   Below this firm surface is a shallow and weak snowpack that holds little potential for avalanche activity.

Special Announcements

Please join us for the next installment of our  FREE  Fireside Chat series, €œHuman Factors in the Backcountry €   Tuesday December 10th at the Glacier Ranger Station in Girdwood.   More details can be found by clicking on the ‘Calendar’ tab above.

Mon, December 9th, 2013
Above 2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
1 - Low
2 - Moderate
3 - Considerable
4 - High
5 - Extreme
Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk
Travel Advice Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Dangerous avalanche conditions. Dangerous avalanche conditions. Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
Likelihood of Avalanches Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible. Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely. Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely. Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
Avalanche Size and Distribution Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain. Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas. Very large avalanches in many areas.
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

Hazards associated with early season conditions continue to be the main problem to deal with in the mountains around eastern Turnagain Arm.  Exposed rocks and a variable crust will make travel difficult in avalanche terrain today.

Snowpack Discussion
Over the weekend we followed the development of our newest crust on the surface.  This thin crust exists at all elevations and in most areas has a layer of surface hoar sitting on top.  While this crust/surface hoar combo is not dangerous now, it will have our attention when a slab forms on top of it in the future.  Continue to check our observations page as we monitor the development of our snowpack. 

Mon, December 9th, 2013

The ridge of high pressure that brought spring like weather to the mountains over the weekend is breaking down today.   Ridge top temperatures are in the low twenties F this morning.  

A weak disturbance associated with a low pressure system to the Southwest will bring the chance of some light flurries through the day.   This will help to push the remaining areas of fog out of the lower elevations.   Winds will be light out of the West and ridge top temps will reach into the mid to upper twenties F.

As this high pressure ridge breaks down a series of low pressure systems will brush by well to the South of the area over the next several days.   This will translate to cooler temps, cloudy skies and low chance for precip until later in the week.

Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
11/16/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Common
11/14/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst/Magnum
11/14/23 Turnagain Observation: Seattle Ridge
11/13/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Tincan Trees
11/12/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst
11/12/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Goldpan – avalanche
11/11/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Common
11/11/23 Turnagain Observation: Taylor Pass – Sunburst
11/10/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan
11/10/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Trees
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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.