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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, April 10th 2013
Created: Apr 10th 6:45 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 Bottom Line

Several inches of light dry snow covers the surface in most areas of our region.  The areas we covered yesterday did not show signs of avalanche potential besides minor sluffing of the dry surface snow.  

Watch for areas with older stiff wind slab that may have formed over the weekend.  A few more inches of cold snow may fall today, but with only minimal wind expected it should not contribute to the avalanche potential.  

Recent snowfall has brought more snow to the Anchorage area, so don't expect to find deeper powder by driving south.


Primary Concern

Sluffing was easy to initiate yesterday with the ultra dry layer on the surface.  Steeper confined terrain like chutes and couloirs could likely entrain enough volume to knock someone off their feet.  

From the avalanche perspective, loose snow is a manageable concern.  Use the terrain to let the sluff fall away and to the side of your line, stop periodically to allow it to pass, or keep enough speed to stay in front of it.  


Secondary Concern

Wind appeared to be strongest overnight through the channeled terrain of Turnagain Arm.  Sunburst station showed relatively little wind.  In those areas that saw gusting into the 20s we may have wind slab at higher elevations.  The dry nature of the recent snowfall makes that snow easy to pick up and move around by the wind.  Many of the weather stations showed a northwest wind direction, meaning that south and east facing slopes are most likely to have wind slabs.  

Besides the surface snow, the underlying bed surface may contribute to the problems.  Southerly faces and anything that got sun exposure in the last week will have a thick crust under the new snow.  That crust may contribute to poor bonding of other layers and complicate the issues.  


Mountain Weather

Temperatures dropped overnight, with ridgetop temperatures near 0 degrees or colder in some areas.  Sea level is in the mid teens, and we will see some daytime increase.  

A small amount of snow is in the forecast and some areas got a few inches overnight.  Expect any snow to be very light and dry.  

Northwest wind will stay minimal, less that 10mph.


Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 11th.

 

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 28, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: ClosedSKOOKUM DRAINAGE CLOSED TO MOTORIZED USE ON APRIL 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: OpenOpen thru May 14th.
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: OpenClosed May 1.
Lost Lake Trail: OpenClosed May 1.
Primrose Trail: OpenClosed May 1.
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: OpenClosed May 1.
South Fork Snow River Corridor: OpenClosed May 1.
Summit Lake: OpenClosed May 1.

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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