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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Saturday, January 21st 2012
Created: Jan 21st 6:12 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 John Byrne Family
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Saturday, January 21st 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 through the core zone of Turnagain Pass. Steep alpine zones still have some potential for small sluffs and occasional small wind slabs.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Our extended period of quiescent weather has led to generally safe avalanche conditions in the backcountry. Quiescent is a good descriptor of the backcountry over the last few days marked by inactivity or repose, causing no trouble or symptoms. The only avalanche activity we have witnessed recently has been minor loose snow sluffing in steep terrain.

CNFAIC Staff folks have found isolated examples of small windslabs. The surface conditions are an eclectic mix of good loose powder in between areas of wind hammered snow.

Under the definitions of LOW avalanche danger, there still remains a possibility for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Small avalanches are possible in extreme terrain. Steep and unforgiving terrain carries its own risk that may or may not be related to very small avalanches. Extreme terrain, which includes areas with cliffs, very steep and sustained slopes, and terrain traps can still be life threatening during times of LOW avalanche danger.

The clear and cold weather is building large surface hoar, primarily at lower elevations below treeline. Faceting of the surface layers is also loosening the snow. Both of these processes could create problems when the weak surface snow gets buried by the next storm. A good rule of thumb is that the longer we go without new snow, the more difficult it is for that snow to bond when it finally arrives. This has been an extended period of dry weather, so travel carefully after the next storm cycle. Expect the avalanche danger to rise tomorrow if the expected snow does arrive.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER
A deep 955mb low is parked out in the Gulf of Alaska. By this evening we may start seeing the effects of that storm system. This morning will be similar to the last week with clear skies, cold temperatures, and minimal wind. Expect clouds to creep in this afternoon and a possibility of some snow tonight. By Sunday the temperatures should be back into a normal cold but not frigid range.

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

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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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