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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   John Fitzgerald  
Thursday, April 17th 2014
Created: Apr 17th 6:16 am
2 Moderate Above Treeline
Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Likelihood of Avalanches: Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible. Avalanche Size & Distribution: Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
2 Moderate Below Treeline
Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Likelihood of Avalanches: Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible. Avalanche Size & Distribution: Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
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Special Announcement

Advisories will be issued 5 days per week - Wednesday to Sunday - through April 27th.


The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW this morning.  In the lower elevations warming temperatures will elevate the danger to MODERATE on all aspects, where wet loose avalanches will be the main concern.  Above treeline the danger will remain LOW except for on steep sunlit slopes during the heat of the day where the danger will rise to MODERATE.


Primary Concern

Thinning cloud cover combined with a drop in temps overnight have allowed the surface to refreeze at all elevations.  That firm surface will lose strength as the day progresses, with temperatures at 1,000’ expected to reach into the high 40s F.  Travel will become difficult as rising temperatures and sunshine will allow snowmachines and skis/boards to sink well below the surface.  It will be important to get off of steep sunlit terrain (over 40 degrees) in the higher elevations and all terrain in the lower elevations as the melting occurs.  Wet loose sluffs will be easy to initiate as things heat up.  These avalanches will have the potential to knock you over and cause injury.  It will be equally important to plan your route back to your vehicle with this heating in mind; anticipate the terrain you will need to move through and plan accordingly.


Secondary Concern

Temperatures will rise considerably today.  This will aid in destabilzing cornices that have grown over the course of the entire winter.  Steer clear of cornices.  When travelling at or above their level,  know where they connect to the underlying terrain.  When travelling below make sure that you are out of the potential fall line of these massive blocks of snow.


Mountain Weather

In the past 24 hours no measurable precipitation has fallen on Turnagain Pass.  Clouds were consistent during the day yesterday and have gradually dissipated overnight.  Ridgetop temperatures have averaged in the high 20s F (27 F at Sunburst station).  Winds there have been light averaging 9mph (max gust 25 mph) out of the East.

Today expect clearing skies and continued mild temps.  Temperatures at 1,000’ will reach into the high 40s F and ridgetops should see temps into the low 30s F.  Winds will remain light out of the East at 5mph.  Only an occasional rain/snow shower can be expected for today.

The extended outlook is showing another day of mild and partly cloudy weather, with light rain showers possible on Friday.  A quick break on Saturday will bring sunny skies before another weak low pressure brings back clouds and light rain on Sunday.

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).

Winter snowmachine use open/closed status and riding conditions updates

Riding status is not associated with avalanche danger. An area will be open to motorized use in accordance to the Forest Management Plan when snow coverage is adequate to protect underlying vegetation. Backcountry hazards including avalanche hazard are always present regardless of the open status of motorized use areas.

(Updated: Apr 13, 2014 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: OpenJohnson pass is open to motorized use. Trail is cleared of downed logs to access both Lynx Creek and Bench Lake. Icy patches are making the trail challenging the closer you get to Bench Lake.
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: OpenPlease avoid the small SE-facing hill (Rookie Knob) directly out of the parking area. Evidence of resource damage occurring at this site leads to closure of riding areas. Spread the word!
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Open
Lost Lake Trail: ClosedClosed due lack of snow
Primrose Trail: ClosedClosed due lack of snow
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed due to lack of snow
Snug Harbor: Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Open
Summit Lake: Open

The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory provided by the Chugach National Forest, in partnership with Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.


USFS SNOW AND AVALANCHE HOTLINE (907) 754-2369
If you have comments regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation managment, please email kevin@chugachavalanche.org
© 2014 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
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