Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Thursday, April 11th 2013 6:33 am by Wendy Wagner
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

There is a MODERATE avalanche danger above treeline today for wind slab and loose snow avalanches. Winds slabs 6-10" deep, sitting just off ridgelines and rollovers, will be possible to trigger on upper elevation slopes over 35 degrees. Additionally, moderate sluffing in the weekend's new snow should be expected on all aspects in the steeper terrain. In the event skies remain clear and the sun warms the surface snow, damp sluffs and shallow slabs are possible on southerly aspects.

 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
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.
Avalanche Problem 1

Despite the light winds the past couple days, shallow and very sensitive slabs have been able to form in scattered areas along ridgelines (shown in the photo below). This is mainly due to the weekend's snow being so light and easy to transport. They didn't pack much punch yesterday but a bump in wind overnight with plenty of low density snow available for transport will likely have continued wind slab development. Watch for these to be 6-10" thick and on a variety of aspects - winds have been blowing from various directions due to our region being in the heart of a low pressure system. Keeping an eye on the snow texture as well as for shooting cracks from your skies/board or sled will be key.


Avalanche Problem 2

Loose snow avalanches are expected to be prevalent again today. These are both in the dry snow category and the wet/damp snow category (pending clear skies):

Dry snow: The very cold overnight temperatures will add to the looseness of the surface snow (and to the good riding/skiing conditions). This should keep dry sluffs something to plan for on steep slopes.

Wet/damp snow: If the skies remain clear today, the sun should have ample time to warm southerly aspects. Watch for dampening of the snow surface to turn a small low volume dry sluff into a larger heavier damp sluff. Shallow slabs are also possible with daytime warming on southerly aspects. These sluffs and slabs have the potential to release naturally if we do get intense sunshine today.

Mountain Weather

Under mostly clear skies this morning, temperatures have plummeted to the single and minus single digits. Winds have remained light from the north and west with a slight bump overnight to the 15-20 mph range. Yesterday, mostly cloudy skies limited much daytime heating and 24-hour average temperature at the Sunburst wx station was +1F while winds averaged 4mph with gusts to 16.

Today, a few clouds are likely to stream through but the sun should have time to warm things up a bit. Temperatures should reach the mid 20'sF at sea level up to treeline and the low teens on the ridgetops. Winds will be light and slowly backing to the SE where they look to pick up tonight to the 15mph range.

Beautiful spring weather consisting of sunny days, cold nights and light to moderate northerly winds are on tap for the remainder of the week and into the weekend.


Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow, April 12th.

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: Feb 15, 2018 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: OpenPlease access trail thru open gate and park trucks/ trailers along the road toward the trailhead. Please keep the turnaround (near large signboard) clear for vehicles to TURN AROUND!
Placer River: OpenOpen 2/16. Please avoid private property and AKRR job site at Luebner Lake. Cross railroad tracks if needed, do not ride down tracks, it is illegal.
Skookum Drainage: OpenOpen 2/16. Please avoid private property and AKRR job site at Luebner Lake. Cross railroad tracks if needed, do not ride down tracks, it is illegal.
Turnagain Pass: OpenPlease avoid riding on “Rookie Hill“ and other areas with exposed vegetation. Thank you!
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: OpenOpen 2/16.
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: OpenResurrection Pass trail is open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.
Snug Harbor: Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
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.

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