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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, December 21st 2011
Created: Dec 21st 6:55 am
3 Considerable Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious routefinding and conservative decision-making essential.
3 Considerable Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious routefinding and conservative decision-making essential.
3 Considerable Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious routefinding and conservative decision-making essential.
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Anchorage Snowmobile Club
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, December 21st 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 CONSIDERABLE for new storm snow, wind slabs, and fresh cornices. Last nights storm brought significant snow and strong wind through Turnagain arm and the Kenai Peninsula. The snowpack will be adjusting to the new load today.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Since the beginning of the month we have gotten 4 major storms through the region. They have all come in with typical maritime force warm, wet, and windy. Last nights storm was no exception. The good news is that these kinds of storms tend to bond and stabilize within a day or two. The bad news is today is still within the heightened avalanche danger of last nights storm. It will be prudent to manage terrain conservatively today and let the snowpack adjust to the new stress.

The primary concern today will be recent storm snow from last night's and from Sundays storms. Specific areas will be wind loaded into deeper pockets. Cornices will likely be large and unstable. Natural avalanches probably happened overnight, and human triggered avalanches will be possible today.

Test pit results yesterday showed typical new storm snow layering and strength . Today we have additional snow to evaluate.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
The storm last night brought up to a foot of snow to higher elevations in Girdwood and in the southern portions of the Kenai Peninsula. Areas closer to Seward may have gotten the most snowfall out of this storm. Turnagain Pass only shows about 4 inches on the weather station, with Summit showing a little more. Temperatures rose a few degrees during the storm, so the layering will be slightly upside-down with heavier snow on top of lighter snow. Wind during the snowfall was up to 60mph at the ridgetops.
Todays weather should bring sunny breaks with only light to moderate wind.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

Wendy will issue the next advisory Thursday 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: Apr 28, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: ClosedSKOOKUM DRAINAGE CLOSED TO MOTORIZED USE ON APRIL 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: OpenOpen thru May 14th.
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: OpenClosed May 1.
Lost Lake Trail: OpenClosed May 1.
Primrose Trail: OpenClosed May 1.
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: OpenClosed May 1.
South Fork Snow River Corridor: OpenClosed May 1.
Summit Lake: OpenClosed May 1.

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
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