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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Friday, December 2nd 2011
Created: Dec 2nd 6:46 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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BP Alaska
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Friday, December 2nd 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).

ANNOUNCEMENT
The Seward District opened all motorized areas yesterday. Check the riding areas at the bottom of this page for the latest updates. Placer river and Twentymile remain closed until we get more snow cover.

BOTTOM LINE
Todays avalanche danger rating is MODERATE for windslab near the ridgetops sitting on top of older faceted snow. The recent storm on Tuesday night brought variable amounts of snow into the region with highest amounts near Seward and Girdwood, lesser snowfall happened in Turnagain and Summit. This snow was accompanied by high wind and warming temperatures.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Our recent storm brought less precipitation than was originally expected, but it still affected our area with increased avalanche hazard on Wednesday. With the weather staying mild yesterday and today the overall danger is back down to moderate. Our primary concern today is wind loaded slopes above treeline.

Yesterday we found variable conditions climbing to the ridge. The stiffer snow and fresh cornices on North and West slopes confirmed the wind loading direction from the recent storm.

Digging below the surface shows the recent storm snow is sitting on top of facets from the multi-week cold snap in November. Its not a well defined strong snow over weak snow scenario, but we could identify a couple layers of concern. Take a look at our pit data from yesterday here. We could identify 2 interfaces that failed with strong force. These could be a problem in areas with greater wind loading or when we get more stress in the form of snow or rain.

During the next few days it will be prudent to keep an eye on the weather. More snow is possible, with wind and even warmer temperatures.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Snow in the mountains with rain possible at sea level. Snow accumulation looks to be limited in the next 24 hours with 1-3 inches. Temperatures are near freezing and expected to stay that way. Wind will be light inland with moderate winds through channeled areas like Turnagain Arm and Portage Valley.

I will issue the next advisory Saturday morning. 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

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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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