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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Wendy Wagner  
Sunday, December 23rd 2012
Created: Dec 23rd 6:38 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 Libby Group
The Bottom Line

Today the avalanche danger is generally LOW with pockets of MODERATE on steep slopes above treeline where the possibility remains of triggering a slab avalanche. Slopes steeper than 35 degrees with a stiff slab of snow overlying weak sugary snow should be treated as suspect to release. Being mindful of the consequences (i.e., cliffs and gullies) of a slab breaking loose is important when venturing into steeper terrain. Below treeline we have a LOW danger as the pack is one unconsolidated unit that lacks a slab.

Expect the avalanche danger to rise tomorrow with new snow and wind on the way. If traveling in the backcounty over the holidays check our avalanche advisories daily as conditions can change quickly.


Primary Concern

With a good chance for new snow Monday, we will likely be talking about a whole host of different issues and dangerous avalanche conditions but, until then, we are still dealing with the old and tired “dragon in the dungeon”. This is our weak snow underneath strong snow problem that is scattered about the mountains. The dragon (weak faceted snow) is widespread but the strong snow (old wind slabs) are hiding in pockets. Though these slabs are slowly deteriorating to the point of non-reactivity and becoming harder to find, they cannot be written off.

Areas to watch for are steep slopes sporting stiff supportable snow that has a hollow feel underneath. Many areas, including steeper slopes and starting zones, are missing this stiff and cohesive slab because they have either already avalanched, been wind scoured or, if you are lucky, harbor loose faceted snow with decent riding conditions. That said, the snow surface is quite variable.


Mountain Weather

Enjoy the mostly clear skies today as we have snow in the forecast! But first today’s conditions, the frigid temperatures have bumped up overnight – at least at the mid and upper elevations. Treeline and above are in the mid-teens this morning, where they should remain, but the inversion will stick around with parking lots in the minus single digits. Winds are currently light from the east and will pick up to the 20mph range by this evening with the approach of, yes, a storm.

Okay second, the storm, snow is finally on its way and it has the potential to add up by mid-week. A low pressure system developing south of Kodiak is intensifying and will start moving over our region tonight and through Tuesday. Snowfall numbers are looking to be in the 10-16” range by Monday night with another system right on its heels bringing similar snow amounts. This first system is cold enough for snow at all elevations. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s forecast and a better look as the systems get closer.

 


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). 

John will issue the next advisory Monday morning, December 24th.

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: Mar 28, 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: OpenPlacer remains open but SKOOKUM DRAINAGE will close to motorized use on April 1st.
Skookum Drainage: OpenSKOOKUM DRAINAGE CLOSES TO MOTORIZED USE ON APRIL 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: Open
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

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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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