CNFAIC LogoCNFAIC Logo

Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, January 30th 2013
Created: Jan 30th 6:28 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
Chugach Powder Guides
The Bottom Line

Avalanche danger today is mostly associated with the recent snow and wind slab.  A MODERATE danger exists above treeline from the several inches of new snow in the last few days and moderate wind.  A small amount of new snow today will keep the danger at moderate, but it may rise tonight with up to a foot of snow possible.  Below treeline is LOW, with a strong supportable crust underneath the recent few inches of loose snow.


Primary Concern

All recent reported avalanche activity is related to a shallow wind slab in steeper terrain.  That trend continues today with more wind slab expected with today's weather.  If you travel above treeline today, watch for wind drifting patterns related to slope aspect.  One recent report indicated that the shallow wind slab wasn't a major problem if anticipated.  The danger will become greater as the depth and mass of those wind slabs increases today.

As the snowfall picks up today, combined with rising temperatures and wind, the chance of finding more wind slab will increase.  By later tonight the storm snow by itself could be enough to cause concern without the wind component.  The timing on the greater amounts of snow is expected for late tonight and tomorrow morning. 


Secondary Concern

The deep slab problem has not been evident in more than a week.  We believe it still warrants a minor discussion.  Triggering deep slab at this time will require perfect placement and an element of bad luck.  However, if that happens the consequences could be very bad.  It's worth considering this possibility in steep, shallow, and rocky terrain above treeline. 


Mountain Weather

The last couple days have brought just a few inches of snow, but enough to maintain moderate avalanche concerns. 

A weak front is moving across southcentral Alaska today, bringing snow to the mountains of Turnagain Arm.  Temperatures are expected to rise, bringing mixed rain and snow to sea level this afternoon.  Snowfall rates will increase this afternoon into Thursday morning, bringing between 8 and 18 inches to the mountains by tomorrow.  Southeast wind will reach into the 30s and 40s up high. 

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