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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Wendy Wagner  
Friday, December 9th 2011
Created: Dec 9th 6:50 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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The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Friday, December 9th 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 hazard is diminishing to MODERATE today between snowfall events. Isolated pockets of windslab may be found in specific areas. Snowfall is expected to pick up again Saturday with blizzard conditions and significant wind.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
The primary concern today is isolated pockets of windslab that may be found near ridges at higher elevations. Watch for the wind loading patterns related to aspect and the shape of the mountain.

After the storm last weekend we had a quick spike in avalanche conditions with numerous natural avalanches. Since then the temperatures have dropped and generally locked the snowpack in tight. Yesterday we got a quick shot of new snow varying from 3-14 inches depending on location. This new snow has built stiff but shallow and isolated slabs in some areas. Those slabs don't seem to be bonded well to the underlying snowpack quite yet.

The recent natural avalanches on Sunday were sometimes stepping down into the old faceted layers from November. Yesterday our test pits showed several suspect interfaces but only limited reactivity. These weak layers are showing moderate to high strength, with some clean shear planes, but low tendency to propagate. We will be monitoring these deeper weak layers for some time, but in the absence of recent snowfall they will be remain unlikely to trigger.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Yesterday the region got snowfall ranging from 3-14 inches. Today the weather will not contribute much to the avalanche conditions. A small amount of snow is possible with partial clearing at times. Temperatures will range from the teens to the high 20s. Wind will be light to moderate. The next major snowfall is expected Saturday, which will increase avalanche danger over the weekend.

If we get clear skies tomorrow morning watch for a full lunar eclipse around 5am.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

I will issue the next advisory Saturday 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: May 16, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedThanks all for a safe and fun season on the Chugach NF! Stay tuned for the 2017/18 season. #playsafe #snowtosealevel
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedResurrection Pass trail will be 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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