CNFAIC LogoCNFAIC Logo

Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Tuesday, December 25th 2012
Created: Dec 25th 5:51 am
4 High Above Treeline
Travel Advice: Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Likelihood of Avalanches: Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely. Avalanche Size & Distribution: Large avalanches in widespread areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
4 High Below Treeline
Travel Advice: Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Likelihood of Avalanches: Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely. Avalanche Size & Distribution: Large avalanches in widespread areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
Subscribe to the Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory:
The Bottom Line

Merry Christmas!  Skiers and riders got a big Christmas present today in the form of the biggest storm of the year...  Unfortunately it's too much to play with today.  Girdwood and Turnagain Pass are trying to adjust to 2-3 feet of new snow in the last 24 hours, which has the avalanche danger pegged at HIGH.  Even playing below treeline is going to be difficult and potentially dangerous with this much new snow. 

We are issuing an Avalanche Warning today, meaning HIGH avalanche danger can be found across a wide region.  Backcountry travel is not recommended.

This morning, natural avalanches have been reported along the Seward Highway and in Girdwood.  It's undoubtedly avalanching spontaneously across the region, but the storm is too thick for us to see much yet.  Open your Christmas presents, relax, enjoy the day off, and be safe.


Primary Concern

Wind has been blowing into the 60s at the ridgetops along with all that new snow.  Natural avalanche activity started sometime yesterday and got bigger overnight as the new snow piled up.  Despite a taper expected this morning in the storm intensity, the possibility of natural and human triggered avalanches will remain high this morning.   With this much snow we can expect large avalanches to run down into valley bottoms, making safe areas difficult to determine even below treeline.  The best travel advice today is to stay away from the Kenai peninsula or go to Alyeska. 


Secondary Concern

Areas below treeline that are less wind affected will still have a huge amount of new snow.  All this new weight is sitting on a very weak base from early winter.  There is nothing good about this combination...  The stress of the new snow will be exceeding the strength of the underlying foundation.   Let's give it time to go through the natural avalanche cycle before we go play in the new snow.

By mid afternoon yesterday the backcountry in Turnagain was already so deep that it was difficult to ski.  The snow depth has doubled since then...  Again, the best advice is to stay away until the snowpack has time to adjust to this massive new load. 


Mountain Weather

24 hour storm totals as of 5am

Turnagain Pass - 24-30 inches snow, 2+ inches of water

Alyeska - 25-36 inches snow, 3+ inches of water

Wind reaching over 60 mph at most ridgetop weather stations.

Temperatures have risen during the storm, with some rain at low elevations.  The storm is expected to taper this morning both in wind and precipitation.  Tomorrow morning another pulse is expected to hit with more heavy snow and high wind across our region.  The Blizzard Warning is canceled, but the storm is not over. 


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 Wednesday morning December 26th.

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: Oct 11, 2014 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedClosed as of April 23rd.
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: Closed
Snug Harbor: Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
Summit Lake: Closed

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 regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email wendy@chugachavalanche.org
© 2014 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
FCNFAIC
Donate
If you think a public avalanche
center is important then we urge
you to become a member & donate.


PickClickGive



By clicking the links below, the companies will donate a portion of your purchase price to the Friends of CNFAIC. Click here for more deals