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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Wendy Wagner  
Thursday, January 5th 2012
Created: Jan 5th 6:58 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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The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Thursday, January 5th 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 will rise to MODERATE today for fresh wind slab and soft slab avalanches as several inches of new snow, accompanied by wind, is forecast. Watch for cracking in the snow around you in areas such as rollovers, off ridgelines and cross-loaded gullies. Additionally, new snow sluffing will be possible.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Yesterday was anCNFAIC Staff quiet day in the Turnagain Pass, Girdwood and surrounding areas for avalanche activity. Riding conditions have remained quite delightful in areas without wind effect. A bit of new snow and wind is on tap for today so look for the quite avalanche conditions to waken to a certain degree.

The forecast today is for 3-7" of light, low density snow, and 20mph winds with gusts in the 40's. This is a perfect recipe for soft wind slab development. Thus, wind slab avalanches will be the primary concern. Watch for slopes near ridgelines, rollovers and gullies with new wind deposited snow to crack under the weight of your snowmachine or board(s). Loose pre-existing snow underlying the fresh wind slabs will add to the sensitivity for human triggers. These slabs are likely to be soft and in the foot deep range or less. However, deeper pockets can easily be formed in cross loaded gullies and certain terrain features.

New snow sluffing and soft slab avalanches will be a secondary concern. There has been a fairly quick rise in temperature above treeline overnight. Some locations have seen as much as a 15F jump since yesterday evening. Though below treeline the cold air has remained in place, keep an eye out for areas with temperatures in the teens, as this rise will likely give the snow an inverted, upside down, character allowing for soft slab formation in the top several inches of new and/or old loose snow.

Lastly, the Summit Lake area continues to have a different snowpack structure than Turnagain Pass and the Girdwood Valley. Weak snow around crusts exist under about a foot of surface snow around treeline with the conditions seeming to improve slightly with elevation.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Yes, finally a break in the cold temperatures and a chance for a fresh coat of paint is moving our way today. Already temperatures have climbed into the mid-teens above 3000'. Quite an inversion has developed, making it likely to find warmer locations with higher elevations. Currently, temperatures below 1000' are -15 to 0F while above 3000' are in the min teens.

Snow accumulations today look to be modest, in the 3-7" range. Southeast winds have picked up this morning and are forecast to continue into the afternoon, averaging near 20mph with gusts over 40mph. Temperatures are likely to remain in in the mid-teens above 3000' with the colder lower elevations warming slightly through the day.


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 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: Nov 18, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedOnly a few inches of snow sits at the motorized lot, not enough to open for snowmachining at this time. Updated Nov. 18, 2017
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedResurrection Pass trail is expected to 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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