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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   John Fitzgerald  
Thursday, December 20th 2012
Created: Dec 20th 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
Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking
The Bottom Line

The hazard remains MODERATE above treeline.  Steep upper elevation starting zones are of most concern.  While it is getting more difficult to trigger avalanches the possibility still remains.  Below treeline the snowpack continues to get more and more rotten where the hazard is LOW today.


Primary Concern

It has been 4 days since a human triggered avalanche has been reported in the backcountry.  Yesterday my partner and I had a hard time finding snow that was reactive to our ski cuts and stability tests in our snowpits.  However, the snowpack in higher elevation starting zones continues to harbor a very weak base.  The slabs that are sitting on this base have been deteriorating over the past week of clear and cold weather.  As a result these slabs are becoming less reactive to the weight of a person or snowmachine.  Keep in mind that the distribution of this slab varies widely as you move around the mountains; in some places the slab is non existent and in others it is fully intact.  It is those areas with an intact slab that are of greatest concern.  While it is getting more difficult to find these areas they are still out there and warrant an accurate assessment.  Tracks on a slope do not guarantee that the snow is stable.


Mountain Weather

Clear, cool and dry weather will dominate our area today.  Ridgetop winds will gust into the 20s and temps will warm to the teens.  
Our next chance for precip looks to be early next week at best.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Announcements
We would like to extend a special thanks to everyone who came out to support our avalanche center last night.  Thank you to Wild Alpine, Alyeska Resort and the Friends of the CNFAIC for hosting this event.  We here at the CNFAIC are excited to continue to deliver the info you need to make good decisions out in the backcountry!


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 Friday morning, December 21st. 

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: Apr 11, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: OpenPlease park on road in and leave the turnaround (near outhouse) open for trailers to turn around.
Placer River: OpenWide swaths of open river in the Placer Valley. Travel with extreme caution!
Skookum Drainage: ClosedSKOOKUM DRAINAGE CLOSED TO MOTORIZED USE ON APRIL 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: ClosedClosed for the remainder of the 2017 season.
Seward District
Carter Lake: Open
Lost Lake Trail: OpenPlease STAY ON existing and hardened trail surface through the lower sections of this route.
Primrose Trail: OpenPlease STAY ON existing and hardened trail surface through the lower sections of this route.
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed 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.
Snug Harbor: Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Open
Summit Lake: Open

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
© 2017 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
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