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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, December 5th 2012
Created: Dec 5th 6:41 am
2 Moderate Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
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.
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The Bottom Line

Cold and stable weather persists, holding the avalanche problem steady over the last 2 weeks.  Above treeline, pockets of Moderate avalanche danger may still be found, but the trend is for slowly diminishing problems.  It's been a while now since we've seen any new significant avalanche activity.


Primary Concern

A shallow faceted snowpack and little wind keeps the danger trend the same.  In most places people are traveling the snowpack has rotted out to a sugary, sometimes unsupportable base.  Collapses or whumphing are getting harder to find, and seem to be focused closer to a person than they were a couple weeks ago.  Pit tests are confirming this trend with poor propagation potential compared to mid November.  The nature of the snowpack makes it hard to explore too far without hitting rocks...  If you are going skiing, you might want to grab some p-tex repair materials on the way home.

A healthy amount of uncertainty still exists in the mountains.  We know the structure of the snowpack is poor.  Very few people are testing slopes steeper than 35 degrees.  Our information is limited due to below average use because of the difficulty in accessing much of our backcountry terrain.  While it seems unlikely to trigger a major avalanche, anything that does slide will strip the snow to the ground, exposing rocks and other trauma inducing objects at the bedsurface.  A Moderate level of caution is still warranted in the steeper zones above treeline.  


Mountain Weather

It is cold and calm outside today.  The temperature inversion continues with Portage reading -23 this morning and ridgetops around Girdwood and Turnagain Pass reaching into the low teens.  

The general weather trend is expected to hold until the weekend, then snow is possible with temperatures rising to the 20s.  According to NOAA - PATTERN CHANGE STILL UPCOMING USHERING IN A MORE PROGRESSIVE SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW AFTER THE WEEKEND...HOWEVER THE DETAILS ARE STILL UP IN THE AIR ON EXACTLY WHERE THE PREDOMINANT STORM TRACK WILL SET UP.


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). 

Wendy will issue the next advisory Thursday morning, December 6th.

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 16, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedThanks all for a safe and fun season on the Chugach NF! Stay tuned for the 2017/18 season. #playsafe #snowtosealevel
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedResurrection Pass trail will be open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.
Snug Harbor: Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
Summit Lake: Closed

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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 or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email staff@chugachavalanche.org
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