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ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Mon, November 17th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Tue, November 18th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Unseasonably warm and wet conditions remain over the Eastern Turnagain Arm and are forecast to persist through the remainder of the week.

Glide avalanche activity continues to occur sporadically and a few new wet sluffs were seen on upper elevation steep slopes today (Monday). We look to move into a period of increased precipitation Tuesday evening and into Wednesday. With this we could see an increase in upper elevation avalanche activity and debris may run to lower elevations that are snow free. Keep this in mind if you are hiking or getting out in places like Portage Valley with hiking trails under slide paths.

*We will continue to post intermittent updates. Advisories are scheduled to begin Saturday, November 22nd.
For the most up to date information keep tabs on our observation page. Please, send us an observation if you are getting out this week!!

Mon, November 17th, 2014
Above 2,500'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
0 - No Rating
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
  • 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 remain a primary concern as they are slowly removing much of the scant snow cover. These avalanches are predominantly releasing between 2,500 and 3,000′ and on all aspects. It is safe to say they are still occurring every now and then by comparing photos every couple days. Below is a photo of Magnum’s West face (yes, the snow line is painfully high – roughly 1600-1900′).

Avalanche Problem 2
  • Wet Loose
    Wet Loose
Wet Loose
Wet Loose avalanches are the release of wet unconsolidated snow or slush. These avalanches typically occur within layers of wet snow near the surface of the snowpack, but they may quickly gouge into lower snowpack layers. Like Loose Dry Avalanches, they start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-wet avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose Wet avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper snow layers.
More info at Avalanche.org

Spring-like wet and saturated snow covers the mountains up to around 3,000-3,500′. There have been several wet loose snow avalanches during the past week and though many are likely older, be aware that it may not be too hard to get the snow to move downhill. Steer clear of steep slopes (approaching 40deg) that harbor wet and soft snow.

Wet snow ~2,200′, near treeline. Looking on the bright side – any sugary facets that may have been forming earlier in Nov are history, at these wet elevations anyhow.

Mon, November 17th, 2014

A series of low pressure systems in the Gulf will continue to pump warm moisture laden air from the South into our region. Rain will continue to fall below ~2,500 and 3,000′ and snow above. Winds will remain moderate to strong from the East. Tuesday night we could see as much as 1+” of rain in the Portage area before tapering off for Wednesday and Thursday to light showers.

The return of colder air is still on the horizon.

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.