|Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory|
|Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.|
|Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.|
|Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale|
Fireside Chats are back! Join CNFAIC Forecaster Heather Thamm this Wednesday Dec. 2nd in Anchorage at the Blue and Gold Boardshop for our first Fireside chat as she discusses terrain and route selection. More information on our calendar page HERE.
Outside of advisory area AVALANCHE CONDITIONS update:
Due to avalanche danger and on going search and rescue efforts the East Hatcher Pass Management Area is closed to public use until further notice. For current information visit DNR Newsroom and hatcherpassavalanchecenter.org
The search for a missing skier in Hatcher pass continues today. Click HERE for latest media release from the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center. Click HERE for the most recent news coverage in Alaska Dispatch News. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Dr. Liam Walsh.
There is a MODERATE avalanche danger today in the upper elevations of the advisory area. Human triggered avalanches may be possible in steep, wind-loaded terrain above 2500’. Practice safe travel techniques and ease into terrain one at a time, looking for signs of instability before committing to steep slopes greater than 35 degrees.
Below 2500’ the danger is low where the snowpack has been seasoned with rain and warm temps over the last several days.
With an onslaught of warm, powerful storms since early last week we saw a peak in natural avalanche activity on Friday/ Saturday with rain up to 2500’ and 100+ mph winds through Turnagain pass. Overall the snowpack will continue to gain strength and adjust today with slightly colder temps and a lack of active weather but areas of instabilities may exist. Above 2500’ where the snow has stayed dry, steep leeward slopes may be harboring pockets of wind slab that could be susceptible to a human trigger. Shooting cracks, whumphing or a hollow drum-like feel to the surface are clues that you’ve stepped onto a wind slab. The snowpack is still quite shallow out there. Getting knocked off your feet from even a small avalanche will translate to an unpleasant ride.
General snowpack structure in the mid-elevations, Turnagain pass. Total height of snow here is about 28".
Though we’ve seen a lack of avalanche activity since the peak of the storm post-Thanksgiving, keep in mind we have had 4+” of water over the last 5 days in the eastern Turnagain arm area. This translates to more than 4’ of snow in some upper elevation areas, potentially overlaying weak snow from our cold snap earlier in November. With a lack of information from periphery areas such as the Girdwood Valley, it’ll be prudent to approach any steep, upper elevation terrain with added caution today.
Yesterday provided a reprieve from the rain with only light, intermittent showers across eastern Turnagain arm. Temperatures hovered around 36F all day at 1,000’ while ridge tops cooled slightly to the mid-20’s. Ridgetop winds were less than 20 mph out of the east.
Today we can expect patchy fog and mostly overcast skies. Temperatures appear to be dropping slightly to the low 30’s at 1,000’ and we can expect a few lingering showers to deposit 1-2” of snow at and above ~1500’. Winds will be light out of the East.
Expect an overall decrease in temperatures (return toward normal) and more unsettled, active weather through the week as the next low pressure moves into our region.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am - 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880')||29||2||.2||22|
|Summit Lake (1400')||27||1||.1||10|
|Alyeska Mid (1700')||32||1||.06||16|
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am - 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Wind Dir||Wind Avg (mph)||Wind Gust (mph)|
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).
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: Jan 18, 2017 )
|AREA||STATUS||WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS|
|Johnson Pass:||Open||Access is thru the gate on the right side of the parking lot as you drive toward the outhouse. Please park on road in and leave the turnaround (near outhouse) open for trailers to turn around.|
|Placer River:||Open||Please cross Railroad tracks at 90 degrees to the rails and clear the corridor. It is Illegal to ride up and down Railroad tracks. Tracks are currently active. Please observe and stay off PRIVATE PROPERTY adjacent to the Portage Valley.|
|Twentymile:||Open||Park at Portage rail depot. Cross tracks and follow marked corridor (Bamboo poles) approx. 3 miles up Valley to open riding areas.|
|Lost Lake Trail:||Open||Open to motorized use 1/15. Please STAY ON existing and hardened trail surface through the lower sections of this route.|
|Primrose Trail:||Open||Open to motorized use 1/15. Please STAY ON existing and hardened trail surface through the lower sections of this route.|
|Resurrection Pass Trail:||Closed||Closed for 2016/17 winter season. This is a non-motorized season. This alternates every other year and will open again during the 2017/18 winter.|
|South Fork Snow River Corridor:||Open|
SNOW AND AVALANCHE HOTLINE (907) 754-2369
If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2017 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.