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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   John Fitzgerald  
Monday, April 15th 2013
Created: Apr 15th 5:48 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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The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is LOW and will remain so in most areas throughout the day. 

The hazard is MODERATE on steep wind loaded terrain features where skiers and snowachiners will still be able to trigger shallow slabs up to a foot in depth.  The hazard will also rise to MODERATE in the latter part of the day between sea level and 1,000' where temperatures will climb above freezing and the effects of the sun will loosen the surface snow.


Primary Concern

The unusually cool temperatures of this last spell of clear weather has helped to preserve the snow quality in many areas.  This same weather pattern has also helped to weaken the snow in the upper foot of the snowpack.  Throwing moderate winds into the mix has helped to move around this weak snow and create pockets of wind slab.  As a result we have seen activity in the form of shallow wind slabs releasing throughout the forecast zone over the weekend. These slabs have now been sitting for a few days and will be less reactive than they have over the weekend.  Despite this, it will still be prudent to pay attention to steep rollovers and wind loaded features above treeline.


Secondary Concern

The temperatures will rise enough today in the lower elevations to require careful observation of the snow surface on sunlit slopes.  As the thermometer reading goes above freezing and the sun hits steep low elevation slopes, watch for small rollerballs, pinwheels and shallow point releases.


Additional Concern

Loose Snow Avalanches.  Those venturing into big and steep terrain will need to manage sluff today.  Volume will be generally low and will become a greater concern in exposed terrain and above terrain traps.


Mountain Weather

The clear and relatively cold weather of the past week warmed slightly yesterday, with temps at Sunburst reaching a high of 20.8 degrees F and averaging 17 F.  Winds calmed down (from an average in the teens in the morning) in the afternoon and have averaged 7 mph out of the northwest.  No new precip has fallen in the past 24 hours.

In the mountains today temperatures will climb into the mid 30s F at 1,000'.  Skies will remain mostly clear with potential for some clouds moving in late in the day.  Winds will be very calm at 0-5 mph out of the north and northwest.  No measurable precipitation is on the horizon for the next 24 hours.

The extended outlook is calling for continued dry conditions over the next several days.


Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 16th.

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

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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