CNFAIC LogoCNFAIC Logo

Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, February 1st 2012
Created: Feb 1st 6:54 am
4 High Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
4 High Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
4 High Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
Alaska Rock Gym
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, February 1st 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).

Afternoon update

BOTTOM LINE
Avalanche danger is rising towards HIGH. Dangerous conditions can be found in the backcountry. Expert level travel skills are essential today to stay in safe zones. Wind up to 120mph and heavy snowfall are quickly increasing the danger in most of our forecast zone.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Somebody must have pushed the reset button We are just starting to see the effects of a major storm this morning that will build in intensity through the day. Heavy snow and high wind is expected for most of today and tomorrow. The avalanche danger will rise in relation to the amount of new snow and wind.

We know for sure that avalanche danger will increase with storm snow and wind slabs. We dont have a great idea how easily it will bond to the old snow surface. This is one of the questions we will be trying to answer over the next few days. The new/old snow interface will be the layer of primary concern until we have better information. The good news is we dont have any truly concerning deeper weak layers. There are some anomalies in specific areas including the buried surface hoar and near surface facets from mid January that formed before the last big storm. The most important information today is that we are getting lots of new snow and overall stability will be poor due to rapid loading.

I expect blowing snow and poor visibility will be enough to signal that traveling above treeline could be dangerous. As the new snow builds, traveling underneath larger avalanche paths will also become dangerous. Lower elevation areas including steep rollovers and wind loaded pockets may become deep enough to have avalanche issues as well. Choosing safe areas will require a high level of skill and experience today.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
A large storm system is just starting to enter our region this morning. This storm will bring heavy snow and high wind to Prince William Sound, the Kenai Peninsula, and Turnagain Arm. A blizzard warning is in effect from 9am to 6pm today. Snowfall predictions range from 8-24 inches, with East wind up to 89mph at ridgetops. Temperatures should stay just below freezing today, and perhaps warm up a little more tomorrow.

_2012_Feb_01_0637_463988985-1.jpg

Satellite image from 6am on Feb 1st.

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: Mar 25, 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: Open
Skookum Drainage: OpenSkookum drainage closes to motorized use on April 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: Open
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

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
© 2017 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
FCNFAIC