Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Thursday, April 3rd 2014 6:33 am by Kevin Wright
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW.  Cornice features and loose snow sluffs are the only real possibilities for getting snow to move today.

There will be a weather pattern change tonight, check our forecast tomorrow for the latest changes.

 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
1 Low Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
Avalanche Problem 1

Stability continues to be excellent today.  It's rare that we have so many tracks in so many places across our region.  All of the commonly traveled steep lines have been skied or ridden in the last few weeks.  

One of the bigger challenges right now seems to be finding areas without tracks or with soft snow.  Sunny southerly aspects have a stout breakable crust at the surface.  Daytime temperatures are still not warm enough to soften up those faces and make for good corn conditions.  Shaded north faces are holding faceted "recycled" powder, which can be quite good if you can find areas without old tracks.  

Avalanche related hazards today will include - 

Cornices.  Give overhanging cornice features space as they may break back farther than expected.

Sluffing in steep terrain - 

That loose snow on shaded north faces will sluff out in low volume.  It doesn't have a lot of mass to it, but it must be skied strategically to avoid getting pushed off your feet in high consequence terrain.  Check out this article for sluff management tips.

Additional Concern

Thinking about the future - tomorrow and the weekend...  

There is a good rule of thumb - After long periods without precipitation, the surface becomes a poor interface for the next snow load.

Our current snow surface consists of glazed crusts on south faces, surface hoar, and faceted snow on north faces.  All of these components can be the next layer of concern when we get our next snow load.  

Mountain Weather

Today is expected to start off sunny and calm.  Temperatures will reach into the high 30s this afternoon.  Tonight we will see the first tangible change in the weather pattern in nearly 3 weeks.  Enjoy the sun today while we still have it!

Increasing clouds tonight will bring a chance of rain and snow for Friday and the weekend.  Temperatures are expected to be above freezing during daylight hours, so rain rather than snow is possible.

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: May 06, 2018 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: ClosedClosed as of April 20th
Placer River: ClosedClosed as of April 17th
Skookum Drainage: ClosedClosed as of April 1st.
Turnagain Pass: ClosedClosed as of May 7th. Happy summer, see ya when the snow flies!
Twentymile: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Seward District
Carter Lake: ClosedClosed as of 4/27
Lost Lake Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Primrose Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 20th
Snug Harbor: ClosedClosed as of 4/27
South Fork Snow River Corridor: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Summit Lake: ClosedClosed as of April 20th

Subscribe to the Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory:

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.

If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email
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