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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   John Fitzgerald  
Monday, December 30th 2013
Created: Dec 30th 6:02 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

The avalanche hazard continues to be MODERATE today above treeline.  It is still possible for humans to trigger pockets of slab up to a foot in depth in steep upper elevation terrain.  Below treeline the avalanche hazard is LOW, where the entire snowpack is losing strength and the ability to produce any slab avalanches.


Primary Concern

Avalanche activity has been on the steady decline over the past week.  The last reported human triggered avalanche in the forecast area occurred on Thursday December 26th.  The nature of a persistent weakness in our snowpack is such that instability continues for extended periods.  While the likelihood of triggering a slab avalanche gets lower with each passing day, the possibility still remains.  The setup still exists for a slab avalanche to occur, especially in steep terrain above treeline.  Test results have been confirming this over the past several days.  It is getting more difficult to initiate an avalanche, but the possibility for an avalanche to propagate across a slope remains.

With all of this in mind, it will be important to approach steep slopes in the higher elevations with caution.  It may be possible to get onto multiple slopes in this category without incident but eventually find a slope that will avalanche.  Because of this possibility it is worth continuing to use good travel habits; one at a time on a slope, avoid being above your partner, have an escape route planned and carry & know how to use your safety equipment.


Mountain Weather

In the past 24 hours the mountains around Eastern Turnagain Arm have seen temperatures remain mild, with ridgetop stations averaging in the mid 20s F.  Winds have been out of the East at 15-20mph with gusts to 43mph.  No new precipitation has fallen.

Today expect cloudy skies with an occasional flurry.  Ridgetop temperatures will remain mild in the mid to high 20s F and winds will be out of the East at 15 to 20 mph.

The overall weather picture is complex with a series of weak low pressure systems to the South and West.  This will produce an unsettled pattern with cloudy skies & only small amounts of precipitation.  The next shot of accumulating snow looks to arrive Tues night into Wednesday morning.

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: Nov 18, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedOnly a few inches of snow sits at the motorized lot, not enough to open for snowmachining at this time. Updated Nov. 18, 2017
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedResurrection Pass trail is expected to open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.
Snug Harbor: Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
Summit Lake: Closed

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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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