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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Friday, December 30th 2011
Created: Dec 30th 6:48 am
1 Low Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
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Roger Hickel Contracting
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Friday, December 30th 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
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BOTTOM LINE
The avalanche danger is LOW with pockets of MODERATE for wind slabs, and cornices. The most common type of snow to be found right now is loose powder. Some areas at higher elevations will have wind-stiffened pockets, and may be prone to isolated slabs 1-2 feet deep or unstable cornices.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
We keep looking for the avalanche problem, but we havent found anything in the last couple days that bCNFAIC Staffs us too much. There are areas near the ridgetops where wind has built stiffer pockets. Despite this, people are skiing and riding some big exposed lines around Turnagain pass with no reported issues. We have received observations that some areas have a crust underneath the loose powder. This could become a problem if the wind picks up and blows that light loose snow into deeper slabs on top of the crust.

The surface snow in most areas is loose powder. Sluffing is possible where the loose snow falls away in a point release. Most people will find this to be a good thing, but its worth noting that even sluff avalanches can carry a punch and might need specific technique to avoid getting hurt. Check out this discussion on sluff management.

Weve also gotten a few reports about glide activity in the last few days. Girdwood valley has experienced a few glide avalanches in remote areas. Some of the cracks in Turnagain Pass have visibly gotten larger, creating more of the crevasse hazards that we saw in November. Even in this colder weather the snow is moving, ever so slowly, as a cohesive unit.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Snow has been falling over the last week, 1-2 inches at a time. The next couple days will continue that trend with no major storm, but cold snow is possible each day. Wind has been light, and temperatures remain close to 0 degrees at 4000 feet.
The next storm could happen around Sunday, although the confidence in that prediction remains low.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

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: 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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