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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, February 8th 2012
Created: Feb 8th 7:02 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 Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, February 8th 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
More snow and rain equals a rising avalanche trend. The danger rating will rise from Moderate this morning to CONSIDERABLE late in the day. This new snow will be falling on top of variable melt freeze crusts, stiff windboard, and surface hoar. All of these offer poor bonding possibilities for the new snow forecasted to arrive today.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Our roller coaster ride of the last week continues with anCNFAIC Staff swing towards dangerous avalanche conditions. Yesterday we found generally stable conditions with colder temperatures locking in the previously melted surface snow down low. At higher elevations we found stiff wind blown snow that had lost its reactivity from Monday.

Watch the snow and rain today. The avalanche danger will correspond directly with the precipitation. As of yesterday we had lost the wind transportable surface snow, so wind by itself is not a concern. New snow and wind, blowing fresh slabs onto a slick surface is the primary concern.

The surface conditions yesterday left a lot to be desired. Down low, where warm temperatures and rain melted the surface, it refroze into a crust that extends above 2000 feet in some areas. Above the crust you will find a variable mix of slightly soft windblown snow or hard windblown sastrugi. On top of this you may find SURFACE HOAR ranging from 2-10mm in size.

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The older and deeper layers are probably dormant for the time being, but medium to large avalanches were occurring as recently as 2 days ago. Im still not completely confident that this problem is gone for good. It will be unlikely to trigger these deeper layers, but perhaps not impossible. The bad news is that if you do find a deeper weakness, it could cause a larger and much more dangerous avalanche.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Snow, warm temperatures, and high wind. A low pressure complex in the southern Gulf of Alaska will be affecting us today. Up to 12 inches of snow is possible today and anCNFAIC Staff 12 inches tonight, with a freezing level of 500 feet and wind up to the mid 70s at ridgetops. Were getting all the major weather components to create avalanches.

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: 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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