CNFAIC LogoCNFAIC Logo

Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, December 14th 2011
Created: Dec 14th 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
International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, December 14th 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).

ANNOUNCEMNTS
There will no advisory issued tomorrow. The next advisory will be issued Friday, December 16th, at 7am.

Dont miss tonight's big double premiere and CNFAIC benefit!! Teton Gravity Research's The Continuum along with One For the Road will be playing at the Sitzmark Bar & Grill. More details are on our training and calendar page. Come on out!

BOTTOM LINE
The avalanche danger is moderate for new storm snow. Natural avalanches are not likely, but human triggered avalanches are possible in specific terrain. The snowpack is still adjusting to the significant extra weight from the storm over the weekend and more snow is expected today.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Sunny breaks in the weather yesterday gave us a good look around the mountains to see the aftermath of last weekends storm. Most of the natural avalanches happened during the peak of storm intensity, then got filled in and hidden by more snow. There isnt much obvious evidence of avalanching through Turnagain Pass, but you will find some if you look hard enough. Nearly all the information yesterday pointed towards a stabilizing trend in the snowpack. The one anomaly was a reported glide avalanche on Raggedtop in Girdwood yesterday.

Snow pit data showed variable depth of the storm snow depending on aspect related to windloading. In some areas the storm pillowed 5-6 feet deep, CNFAIC Staff places it got scoured free of the ridges. Most slopes got a solid 2 feet of heavier snow, and we found decent bonding to the older snow underneath. Check out our pit data from yesterday HERE.

We got no reports of human triggered avalanches yesterday. Snowmachiners and skiers were doing some pretty good slope testing through Turnagain Pass with no problems that we know of.

All this information points to a stabilizing snowpack. Yesterday (48 hours after the heavy and intense storm) the snow was not reacting to human influence. Today, I expect the deeper stability to be improved further. We do have more snow in the weather forecast, so treat the additional load as an issue of its own.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
The big storm from the weekend is now 3 days in the past. The Center Ridge weather station has lost 8 inches of snow depth due to settlement since Sunday. Up to 5 inches of snow could fall today, with 6 more tonight. Moderate to strong East wind at the ridgetops could be blowing this new snow and forming some new slabs.

Looking forward into Thursday and beyond, more snow is in the forecast. The incoming storms appear to have only mild intensity, but a little snow each day will eventually accumulate into a lot. Snow, wind, and temperatures in the mid 20s will be the norm for the next few days.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

I will issue the next advisory Friday 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

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