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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Sunday, March 24th 2013
Created: Mar 24th 6:33 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.
2 Moderate Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
2 Moderate Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
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Special Announcement

One week from tomorrow is the 2nd ANNUAL CORN HARVEST - get it on your calendar now !! Come join the CNFAIC Friends and Forecasting staff on Turnagain Pass for free food, games, prizes, etc. This is one way we would like to thank all of you for your dedication and support. Oh, did I mention, it’s FREE?


The Bottom Line

A couple reports of small to medium size skier triggered wind slabs will keep the danger rating MODERATE today.  Recent new snow is sitting on top of facets and sun crust, making for a poorly bonded interface.  With more snow in the forecast today and tonight we can expect the problem to stay the same or get worse today. 

So far all the avalanches reported to us have been relatively small.  The distribution is on specific wind loaded aspects and terrain features.  As storm snow accumulates we can expect the freqency and distribution to become more widespread.


Primary Concern

Since the recent wind event on Tuesday night we have gotten a number of people reporting small human triggered avalanches, including instances where people have been taken for a ride.  The trend continues as more snow gets deposited on the poor bonding surface of sun crusts and facetsThe photo below shows a pocket on Magnum yesterday where a skier easily popped this slab loose.  Another similar small avalanche was reported on the SW face of Eddies. 

The concept to keep in mind today is to stay in terrain where you can safely manage an avalanche of this size.  We are dealing with a completely different problem today that we were last weekend and terrain choices must be adjusted accordingly.  Small avalanches are likely, but they can be manageable in low consequence terrain.  Areas with cliffs below or large steep faces should be avoided.

skier triggered avalanche on lower Magnum.t


Secondary Concern

Snow is currently falling and by tomorrow morning it should be enough to blanket the mountains with a refresh on the surface.  It looks like low intensity during the daylight hours today, with an increase coming tonight. 

The storm snow by itself could peel off in steeper terrain on the new/old snow interface.  Expect some kind of unstable character when the depth reaches a critical mass.  We know there is already a tendency for loose snow to sluff in moderate volume and new snow will add to that volume.  Given the right combination of wind and temperature the storm snow could break with a slab character, making it a bigger problem than just loose snow alone. 


Mountain Weather

By yesterday the new snow was ~5 inches with a little more in some areas and pockets of wind blown deposits reaching around a foot deep.  Temperatures are steady in the 20s and wind has dropped from the recent peak on Friday morning. 

Today we have 3-6 inches of snow in the forecast with light to moderate wind from the east.  Precipitation should stay as snow all the way to sea level.  Tonight the snowfall should increase slightly with another 4-7 inches expected. 

Snow remains the dominant weather type going into the work week, with a sunny break possible on Tuesday. 


Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, March 25th.

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

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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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