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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, January 11th 2012
Created: Jan 11th 6:23 am
3 Considerable Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious routefinding and conservative decision-making essential.
3 Considerable Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious routefinding and conservative decision-making essential.
3 Considerable Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious routefinding and conservative decision-making essential.
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The Woodland Family
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, January 11th 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 was HIGH for a period yesterday during the peak of the storm. As the wind and snowfall have decreased since then, the avalanche danger has also dropped back to a CONSIDERABLE rating. Natural avalanches are still possible, human triggered avalanches are likely. If the Seward Highway opens today, travel in the backcountry will require expert level routefinding skills to stay in safe areas.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Most avalanches happen during or immediately after a storm. We are still in the tail end of an intense storm, meaning your likelihood of finding avalanches is quite high today.

Department of Transportation crews shot down a large avalanche across the Seward highway on Bird Flats yesterday, between the community of Bird and Bird point. The character of the avalanche was dry, fast moving, and obviously of significant size. We have limited information from CNFAIC Staff areas simply because the storm has been too intense to go anywhere or see anything. Wind was reaching gusts over 100mph on Sunburst for nearly 8 hours straight before the anemometer broke. Around 16 inches of snow fell during that time, creating sizeable drifts and wind slabs up high.

If you head to the backcountry today, a healthy amount of respect for the new snow is warranted. Time will strengthen the interfaces and drop the avalanche potential, but today is too soon to be jumping onto steep slopes. I will be approaching the backcountry today with a critical eye, staying on lower angle sheltered terrain, and following strict travel protocol to expose only one person at a time.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
The storm peaked yesterday afternoon with hurricane force wind and heavy snowfall. The same storm system will continue affecting our region today and tomorrow with less wind and additional snowfall. 5-8 inches of snow is forecast for today with Southeast wind 34-44mph and temperatures approaching the melting point.

According to the National Weather Service, the Low currently south of Kodiak will move into Prince William Sound and stall. THIS WILL PROVIDE A SOURCE OF MOISTURE TO
THE ATMOSPHERE THAT SHOULD RESULT IN A LONG-DURATION EVENT OF
MODERATE SNOW FROM THE KENAI PENINSULA TO THE ANCHORAGE AREA AND UP
THROUGH THE SUSITNA VALLEY.

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 11, 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: OpenWide swaths of open river in the Placer Valley. Travel with extreme caution!
Skookum Drainage: ClosedSKOOKUM DRAINAGE CLOSED TO MOTORIZED USE ON APRIL 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: ClosedClosed for the remainder of the 2017 season.
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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