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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Friday, November 25th 2011
Created: Nov 25th 6:59 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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The Hoarding Marmot
The Bottom Line
Good morning this is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Friday, November 25th at 7am. This will serve as 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).

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Turnagain Pass is now open to winter motorized use from Ingram Creek to Bertha Campground. All CNFAIC Staff motorized areas in the District will remain closed including Johnson Pass, Placer, and 20 mile due to lack of adequate snow coverage. Overall depth at Turnagain is adequate yet marginal. Riders should be aware of exposed natural hazards consistent with early season riding.

BOTTOM LINE
Pockets of MODERATE danger can be found in steeper terrain, near ridgetops where the wind has built a stiffer slab. This slab is likely to be buried under the recent 8-12 inches of loose dry snow. Most areas will start this morning with a LOW danger rating. Keep a close eye on the weather today. The additional snow predicted will contribute to an increasing trend on the hazard.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
The past few days have brought cold dry snow, which fell on top of a variable surface. At this point we arent too concerned with the recent snowfall. It came in with minimal weight due to the cold temperatures. The underlying old stiff windboard from a week ago, sitting on top of decomposing facets is more of a concern right now. We have no reports of recent natural or human triggered avalanches, but some test results and a closer look at the underlying structure is lowering our confidence of the current stability. Those pockets of Moderate will be found in steeper terrain, near ridgetops, with an older buried windslab of variable thickness.

I encourage people to spend some time digging quick pits to get a better feel for the snow. We are finding the old 2-12 inch windslab sitting on top of weak facets. The stiff slab is sometimes supportable, sometimes cracking under your weight. Shooting cracks are possible, but isolated to this layer. Test pit results will likely find easy shears below the stiff layer.

This scenario will be more of a concern when we get a significant additional snow load on top of our current snowpack. The danger rating could increase quickly if we get a moderate to large snowfall or a wind event without snow.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Clouds and snow are expected today. We got about 3 inches of light dry snow in the last 24 hours. AnCNFAIC Staff 4-10 inches are predicted today. Wind has been light over the last 24 hours and it should continue that way through today. Temperatures are in the single digits to mid teens this morning. Daytime highs should be in the teens with colder temps at upper elevations.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast


I will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry we want to know what you are seeing. Please send us your observations using the button at the top of this page or give us a call at 754-2369. Thanks and have a great day.

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 25, 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: Open
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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