|Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory|
|Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.|
|Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale|
***Carter Lake and Snug Harbor areas are now open to motorized use as of yesterday, Tuesday Dec. 20th. Please respect other closures across the Forest. The Forest Service is monitoring conditions daily and will open more areas just as soon as there is enough snow to prevent resource damage to underlying vegetation. Thanks for your patience!
OUTSIDE AREAS: Recent snowfall has created dangerous avalanche conditions around Southcentral and Interior, Alaska. Keep this in mind if you are headed to Snug Harbor and Carter today and please send in an observation if you see any obvious signs of instability. Check out these avalanche observations from Hatcher Pass and Petersville region where recent avalanche activity was observed over the weekend.
Today the avalanche danger is MODERATE in the Alpine where trigging a slab up to 2’ thick is still possible on steep wind-loaded terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully and manage your terrain choices with safe travel protocols. At Treeline and below the avalanche danger is LOW. Remember to avoid terrain traps where an avalanche of any size could have high consequences.
The touchy snowpack was that was observed over the weekend has calmed down as the new snow has settled and the snowpack is showing signs that it is adjusting. However, it is still very important to remember that the 12”-14” of new snow that accumulated incrementally fell onto suspect weak layers. A widespread layer of weak faceted snow remains our primary layer of concern and was the culprit in many skier triggered avalanches over the weekend. Monday, an observation from Sunburst showed propagation potential on a layer of buried surface hoar (buried Dec.15th) which is sitting on a wind hardened bed surface along some ridgelines. Slopes that were wind loaded due to the storm snow arriving with moderate to strong Easterly ridgetop winds have the most potential to be hazardous as the slabs are deeper and stiffer. Watch out for areas with hard over soft snow, wind pillows or drifts and be on the look out for obvious signs like cracking and whumpfing sounds. Steep unsupported slopes and areas with stiffer connected slab over the facets or buried surface hoar should be avoided. Triggering a dangerous slab avalanche is still possible with our current snowpack set-up.
Snow pit from Monday on Sunburst showing the December 15th layer of buried surface hoar. Photo: Heather Thamm
"Sluff" may also be fast moving on steep terrain features where the snow is loose and unconsolidated. Be aware of terrain features that could have high consequences if knocked off your feet.
Expect cornices to be sensitive and easy to break off. They also could trigger a slab avalanche below. If you choose to walk a ridgeline today, give these a wide berth and be aware of people below you.
A small piece of cornice fall pulled out the surface snow below yesterday in Zero Bowl.
Yesterday was partly cloudy with afternoon sunshine. Temperatures were in the high teens and low 20Fs and winds were calm. Overnight temperatures and winds were similar.
Today and tonight will be mostly cloudy with a chance of snow. Winds will be light and northerly and temperatures will be in the 20Fs during the day dropping into the low teens/single digits overnight.
There is cooling and clearing trend for the remainder of the week with a chance for snow returning for the Holiday weekend.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am - 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)||Snow (in)||Water (in)||Snow Depth (in)|
|Center Ridge (1880')||22||0||0||28|
|Summit Lake (1400')||10||0||0||9|
|Alyeska Mid (1700')||24||0||0||17|
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: May 16, 2017 )
|AREA||STATUS||WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS|
|Turnagain Pass:||Closed||Thanks all for a safe and fun season on the Chugach NF! Stay tuned for the 2017/18 season. #playsafe #snowtosealevel|
|Lost Lake Trail:||Closed|
|Resurrection Pass Trail:||Closed||Resurrection Pass trail will be open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.|
|South Fork Snow River Corridor:||Closed|
SNOW AND AVALANCHE HOTLINE (907) 754-2369
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© 2017 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.