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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   John Fitzgerald  
Sunday, April 7th 2013
Created: Apr 7th 5:14 am
1 Low Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
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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Special Announcement

Are you going to Arctic Man this year?  Join Alaska Mining and Diving Supply, the Friends Group and CNFAIC Forecaster Graham Predeger for a free "Hoodoo Mountain Snowpack and Avalanche Assessment" field workshop on Wednesday afternoon!  Meet at the AMDS tent at 2PM for a fun and informative afternoon of snowpits and POW as we try to wrap our heads around what the primary avalanche concerns will be for the week!  Contact Graham at graham@chugachavalanche.org for more information.


The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is LOW above and below treeline.  There exists the possibility of triggering shallow pockets of wind slab in upper elevation starting zones.  In those isolated locations the hazard will be MODERATE today.


Primary Concern

The weather pattern over the past day has left Turnagain Pass with little to show for in the way of new snow.  Because of this and the current/forecasted weather, the snowpack is stable in most areas.  It's important to remember that LOW hazard does not mean NO hazard.  While it would take an unusual event to produce an avalanche today, there are some issues to pay attention to:

Isolated pockets of wind slab.  The small amount of new snow that has fallen over the weekend sits on slick crusts on south aspects and surface hoar and facets on north aspects above ~3,500'.  With 2-3" of new snow & moderate winds forecasted for today, expect pockets up to 6" deep in leeward starting zones and above cross loaded gullies.  These slabs should not be a problem on their own, but could pose problems for people above terrain traps or in exposed terrain.

Cornices.  Keep your distance from cornices today.  Some of the largest avalanches we have seen in the region over the last month have been related to cornice fall.

Wet loose avalanches will be possible in the lower elevations as the temperatures rise.  These will be small in volume and more likely if the sun makes an apperance.


Mountain Weather

The mountains around Eastern Turnagain arm picked up ~2-3" of new snow over the past 24 hours.  Winds at the Sunburst weather station (3,812') averaged 11 mph out of the SE.  Temperatures there averaged 16.8 degrees F.

Today expect a mix of sun and cloudy skies with another 2-3" of snow possible.  Temperatures at 1,000' will be in the low to mid 30s F.  Ridgetop winds will pick up slightly and blow 15mph out of the S.

The extended outlook calls for a continuation of unsettled weather as we head into the early part of the week.

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Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 8th.

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 15, 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: Open
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

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
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