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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Wendy Wagner  
Thursday, December 22nd 2011
Created: Dec 22nd 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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Hidden Creek B&B LLC
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Thursday, December 22nd 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
There is a MODERATE avalanche danger today for wind slab avalanches. Watch for lingering wind slabs formed during Wednesdays early morning wind and snow event, as these will be possible to be human triggered. Areas most suspect will be steep terrain with recent wind deposited snow.


AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Yesterday, we had one report of a small skier triggered wind slab avalanche in the Turnagain Pass area. In general, it seems most folks have been sticking to the soft, wind sheltered, snow near and below treeline. Above treeline, the snow is quite wind effected with variable riding conditions.

Todays primary concern will be human triggered lingering wind slab avalanches. These formed during Wednesdays early morning 70+mph winds and 6-16 of snow. Anyone traveling in steep terrain will want to keep an eye out for hollow feeling wind pillows and any cracking around your sled or boards. Also, keep an eye out for looming cornices that could fail under the weight of a snowmachine and/or person. These cornices have grown substantially during the past 2 weeks of stormy weather.

Of note, there have been a few recent glide avalanches in the Girdwood Valley over the past few days.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Under mostly clear to partly cloudy skies overnight, temperatures have cooled into the teens at most upper elevations and mid 20s F at the mid elevations. A slight inversion has set up with temperatures in the low 20s near sea level. Winds have been light to moderate from the northwest on the ridges.

Today, a large low pressure system that is spinning in the Gulf is spilling clouds our way. By the afternoon/evening skies look to fill in with a chance for a few inches, and possibly more, of snow tonight. Winds look to remain light to moderate on the ridgelines from the northwest. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 20s F today and will continue to decrease with the cold northerly flow into the weekend.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

Kevin will issue the next advisory Friday morning. If you get out in the backcountry we want to know what you are seeing. Please send us your observations using the button on right hand side 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: Mar 28, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: OpenPlease park on road in and leave the turnaround (near outhouse) open for trailers to turn around.
Placer River: OpenPlacer remains open but SKOOKUM DRAINAGE will close to motorized use on April 1st.
Skookum Drainage: OpenSKOOKUM DRAINAGE CLOSES TO MOTORIZED USE ON APRIL 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: Open
Seward District
Carter Lake: Open
Lost Lake Trail: OpenPlease STAY ON existing and hardened trail surface through the lower sections of this route.
Primrose Trail: OpenPlease 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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