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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Wendy Wagner  
Tuesday, December 18th 2012
Created: Dec 18th 6:10 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.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
The Bottom Line

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Join Wild Alpine and the Friends of the CNFAIC for the Girdwood Premier of TGR's new film "The Dream Factory" - with scenes shot at Alyeska and the surrounding Chugach Mountains. This is a fundraiser for the CNFAIC and takes place at the Sitzmark Bar & Grill - Alyeska Resort. More details HERE.

BOTTOM LINE
A MODERATE danger exists above treeline for today.  Avalanche activity has quieted down in the backcountry.  Despite flurries and increased winds in the forecast, it does not look like this will affect the overall hazard significantly. The potential still remains for triggering avalanches in steep wind loaded terrain.  Below treeline the danger is LOW, where there is not enough of a slab to be of concern and avalanches are unlikely.


Primary Concern

While it has been almost a week since new slabs have formed, we are still seeing isolated areas with slabs that are reactive to the weight of a person.  While avalanche activity has been on the decline, the potential remains for human triggered avalanches in steep upper elevation terrain.  Yesterday was the first day with no reported human triggered avalanches in the last week.  Several parties experienced collapsing in areas that had not previously seen traffic.  This is an obvious sign of unstable snow.  Snowpits from yesterday showed us that the potential remains for avalanches, if triggered, could propagate and entrain enough snow to injure or bury someone.  While it’s easy to get complacent with a lack of obvious avalanche activity, remember that there is very weak snow lurking below the surface. 


Secondary Concern

Look for winds to increase in the mountains today.  With a limited amount of snow available for transport coupled with a trace of new snow, the chance exists for the formation of small new wind slabs.  If you are observing wind blowing out of the east right in front of you, expect nearby west facing slopes to be receiving a new load of snow.


Mountain Weather

The clear and cold weather of the last several days will be replaced by clouds, wind and warmer temps today.  A low pressure system moving south into the Gulf will skirt South Central Alaska.  Look for flurries starting midday with accumulations of up to an inch of snow.  Winds shifted overnight and are now blowing out of the east.  Look for ridgetop winds to pick up for part of the day today with gusts in the 30-40 mph range.  Temps will warm into the balmy teens today!

The longer term outlook shows a return to clear and dry conditions.

 

 


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). 

Kevin will issue the next advisory Wednesday morning, December 19th.

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

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.


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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