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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   John Fitzgerald  
Monday, December 9th 2013
Created: Dec 9th 5:50 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

Please join us for the next installment of our FREE Fireside Chat series, “Human Factors in the Backcountry”  Tuesday December 10th at the Glacier Ranger Station in Girdwood.  More details can be found by clicking on the 'Calendar' tab above.


The Bottom Line

The avalanche hazard is LOW today.  Colder temperatures after several days of warm weather have helped to “lock down” the surface of the snowpack.  Below this firm surface is a shallow and weak snowpack that holds little potential for avalanche activity.


Primary Concern

Hazards associated with early season conditions continue to be the main problem to deal with in the mountains around eastern Turnagain Arm.  Exposed rocks and a variable crust will make travel difficult in avalanche terrain today.

Snowpack Discussion
Over the weekend we followed the development of our newest crust on the surface.  This thin crust exists at all elevations and in most areas has a layer of surface hoar sitting on top.  While this crust/surface hoar combo is not dangerous now, it will have our attention when a slab forms on top of it in the future.  Continue to check our observations page as we monitor the development of our snowpack. 


Mountain Weather

The ridge of high pressure that brought spring like weather to the mountains over the weekend is breaking down today.  Ridge top temperatures are in the low twenties F this morning.  

A weak disturbance associated with a low pressure system to the Southwest will bring the chance of some light flurries through the day.  This will help to push the remaining areas of fog out of the lower elevations.  Winds will be light out of the West and ridge top temps will reach into the mid to upper twenties F.

As this high pressure ridge breaks down a series of low pressure systems will brush by well to the South of the area over the next several days.  This will translate to cooler temps, cloudy skies and low chance for precip until later in the week.

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 28, 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: OpenPlacer remains open but SKOOKUM DRAINAGE will close to motorized use on April 1st.
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

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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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