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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, January 4th 2012
Created: Jan 4th 7:03 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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The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, January 4th 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 LOW with pockets of MODERATE for wind slabs, sluffing, cornices, and glide avalanches. The majority of terrain has a low probability of avalanching. The areas with avalanche possibilities are low volume and minor in size and consequence.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Weve been enjoying a brilliant run of good backcountry conditions over the last week. Today should be more of the same, with cold and clear weather. Increasing wind today could increase the likelihood of finding wind slabs.

The pockets of Moderate danger have so far proven to be very minor. The biggest concern is being knocked off balance by an anomalous wind slab or sluff in no-fall, high consequence terrain. We havent seen anything in Turnagain Pass over the last week that could bury a person, or cause significant damage by itself. A handful of recent reports have mentioned small sluff or slabs carrying enough volume or surprise factor to be noteworthy.

Small surface hoar has been spotted around the region the last couple days. We havent seen much of this so far this winter. Remember, it can be a dangerous weak layer when it gets buried by the next storm.

South of Turnagain Pass the snowpack is showing its typical shallow and weak character. Pit tests show strong snow on top of 2 prominent weak layers, one from the cold November stretch, and one from the December 3rd crust. Both of these weaknesses have potential to slide if we get a significant storm. A report from Sunday mentioned wind plumes at the ridgetops with numerous associated slab avalanches in the Summit region.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Yesterday we saw fog over Turnagain Pass, which opened above to clear skies and light wind above the clouds. Cold temperatures continue today with partly sunny skies. Wind is expected to increase today with gap wind around Whittier up to 85mph as a storm system approaches from the Gulf. Ridgetop winds are predicted to be significantly less, reaching into the 30s tonight.
Tomorrow, the chance of snow is 90%, so expect avalanche possibilities to begin to increase.

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.

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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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