|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 tonight, 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:
Avalanche conditions still remain a concern in Hatcher Pass, and it may take road crews several more days before the East Hatcher Pass Management Area can be re-opened. Search efforts for a missing skier have been temporarily suspended until conditions are safer for ground teams to continue. Visit hatcherpassavalanchecenter.org for current information on Hatcher Pass conditions and click HERE to read the most current article on search efforts.
Over the last few days avalanche stability in Turnagain Pass has been trending towards low danger, however with limited information and incremental loading a MODERATE avalanche danger still exists in the Alpine. Human triggered avalanches may be possible in steep terrain above 2500’. Practice safe travel techniques and ease into terrain one at a time, look for signs of instability before committing to steep slopes greater than 35 degrees.
Below 2500’ the danger is LOW where the snowpack is freezing after being saturated over the past week.
Over the last few days we have received incremental amounts of snow (5+”) and another 3-5” is expected today. Should snowfall become heavy and/or ridgetop winds pick up beyond the anticipated 10-20mph, be on the lookout for signs of instability. Plain and simple, if you observe any redflags (recent avalanches, shooting cracks, or hear “whumphing” sounds) choose gentle slope angles.
No new signs of instability have been observed over the past five days since a wet warm storm dumped an upwards of 4' of heavy snow in upper elevations around Girdwood and Turnagain Pass. In general snowpack conditions have been stabilizing gradually and lots of high quality powder can be found. Caution is advised if poking into steeper terrain, especially on Northern aspects where it can be difficult to assess the snowpack due to generally higher consequence terrain, like cliffs, rocks, and badness.
Remember to always practice safe travel rituals on steep slopes, namely, only expose one person at a time, watch your partners carefully, and regroup in safe zones.
Snow coverage may still be thin near road level, but considering its early December Turnagain Pass is looking good!
Yesterday’s visibility finally allowed for a good look around Turnagain Pass to see some of the aftermath of our last storm. Debris was observed in some of the usual paths, but lots of steep terrain did not avalanche during this last cycle.
On leeward aspects where the snowpack is deep, over 4’ thick, stability is suspected to be pretty good, but there is still little known about windward aspects above 3000’, where the snowpack could be thinner. What we do know is 2-4' of 'Thanksgiving' snow sits on top a variety of old surfaces, one of these being a layer of small facets near the ground. Again, caution is warranted in steep terrain, as an avalanche breaking in the facets near the ground would be large.
Light showery conditions have been the theme of the last 5 days. Winds have been light to moderate; mostly from the East/Northeast and temperatures have been mild, ranging from the mid 20Fs to low 30Fs.
Overnight 1” of new snow has fallen in Turnagain Pass and 2” in upper elevations around Girdwood. Temperatures have increased slightly into the low 30Fs at ~1000’. Winds have remained light out of the East/Northeast.
Today snow showers are expected to bring 3-5” of new snow to the upper elevations near Girdwood and Turnagain Pass. Temperatures may increase above 32F, causing a mix of rain and snow for lower elevations. Easterly winds are expected to be 10-20mph near ridgetops.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am - 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880')||28F||1||0.1||25|
|Summit Lake (1400')||25F||2||0.2||12|
|Alyeska Mid (1700')||28F||2||0.2||13|
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.