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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Saturday, January 7th 2012
Created: Jan 7th 6:46 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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Silverton Mountain Guides
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Saturday, January 7th 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
20 Mile drainage is open to motorized use! Park at the Portage rail depot and cross the RR tracks at the designated spot ONLY! Please follow bamboo poles from the parking area.

BOTTOM LINE
More snow today with wind will increase the avalanche danger proportionately to the snowfall amount. Watch for areas of MODERATE avalanche danger for soft windslabs. Small and shallow human triggered windslabs are possible today. Significant natural avalanches are unlikely unless today's snowfall exceeds the prediction.


AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Thursdays snowfall brought 6-8 inches to our region and a little bit of wind redistributed that snow somewhat. Yesterday we were finding occasional small windslabs that would crack at your skis, although the depth and force within those slabs was minor. Today a storm predicted to drop an additional 3-6 inches with wind up to 29mph will increase the avalanche possibility.

Looking back into our weather and snowpack history gives us good insight into todays avalanche likelihood and character. We have a deep and strong snowpack right now, with no buried surface hoar, no reactive facet layers, and no buried crusts above 2800 feet. The small amount of snow Thursday and today is very unlikely to provide enough stress to affect deeper layers in the snowpack. The only real concern today is finding unstable snow within the top storm layer. This makes avalanche prediction much easier.

Today, pay attention to the surface snow and how it varies and reacts to skis, board, or sled. If it transitions from soft and shallow to stiff and deep then you are moving onto a wind slab. Monitor the slab depth, relative strength, and reaction to being trod upon. Shooting cracks indicate a stronger slab above weaker snow, so your criticism of the snow should increase immediately if you see this. Higher elevations, rollovers, and ridge transitions are the most likely areas to find surface instability. Avalanche size potential will be small and lower volume.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER
The storm out in the Gulf that is hammering Valdez and Cordova will just graze our region with a little bit of snow and wind today. Snowfall just started this morning and it will continue through the day. 3-6 inches of snow is predicted, with East wind to 29mph and temperatures into the mid 20s.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

Wendy will issue the next advisory Sunday 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

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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