CNFAIC LogoCNFAIC Logo

Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Wendy Wagner  
Sunday, November 27th 2011
Created: Nov 27th 6:54 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.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
Bear Tooth Theatre Pub & Grill
The Bottom Line
Good morning this is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Sunday, November 27th 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).

BOTTOM LINE
The avalanche danger is MODERATE for fresh wind slab avalanches on leeward slopes. Human triggered avalanches will be possible today in areas with recent wind deposited snow. These are most likely to be found above treeline, off ridgelines and on rollovers. Below treeline, and out of the wind, the danger is generally LOW.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Yesterday, 3 human triggered avalanches were reported in the Turnagain Pass area, both on the east and west side of the road. Details are limited, but it seems these were all confined to the new snow that has accumulated to 8-12+" during the past week.

Today, the primary concern will be fresh wind slabs forming due to the recent increase in wind. Though winds are moderate, currently in the 20s, and expected to increase slightly into the 30s, there is ample light snow to be blown around. Soft, sensitive wind pockets could be triggered in steeper leeward terrain today. Watch for any cracking in the snow from your sled, board or skis. This is a bulls eye clue that a slab could pop and the slope could slide. Areas most likely to trigger a wind slab are on and off ridgelines and on the steepest point of a rollover/convexity.

Snowpack
To date, our snowpack has been relatively stable; however, it does have a poor structure. In general, there exists weak faceted snow sitting under a wind slab, varying from 0-12+ thick, with 8-12 of loose, new snow on top. With additional weight from new snow, or wind deposited snow, the weak faceted layer has potential to fail. In this case, larger and more unmanageable slides are possible. We are keeping this in mind as the winds pick up today and significant snowfall is expected this week.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Mid-level clouds yesterday allowed for sunny skies above treeline and cloudy skies below. Temperatures were around 10F while winds were light and variable. Overnight, winds picked up from the east and are currently gusting around 20mph. Today, patches of clear sky will begin to fill in with high clouds and light snow showers as a system moves in from the east. There is a chance for a few inches to fall by the evening, with several more accumulating into Monday. Winds are forecast to increase, gusting into the 30s from the east, and temperatures will increase as well, rising into the mid and upper-teens today.

It looks as though a change in our colder than average weather pattern is approaching. Early next week, a large low pressure system is forecast to head into the Gulf, bringing warmer and wetter conditions.


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: Jan 18, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: OpenAccess is thru the gate on the right side of the parking lot as you drive toward the outhouse. Please park on road in and leave the turnaround (near outhouse) open for trailers to turn around.
Placer River: OpenPlease cross Railroad tracks at 90 degrees to the rails and clear the corridor. It is Illegal to ride up and down Railroad tracks. Tracks are currently active. Please observe and stay off PRIVATE PROPERTY adjacent to the Portage Valley.
Skookum Drainage: Open
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: OpenPark at Portage rail depot. Cross tracks and follow marked corridor (Bamboo poles) approx. 3 miles up Valley to open riding areas.
Seward District
Carter Lake: Open
Lost Lake Trail: OpenOpen to motorized use 1/15. Please STAY ON existing and hardened trail surface through the lower sections of this route.
Primrose Trail: OpenOpen to motorized use 1/15. Please 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
© 2017 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
FCNFAIC