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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Saturday, February 25th 2012
Created: Feb 25th 6:41 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 Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Saturday, February 25th 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 this morning. Watch for a rapid and significant increase in the avalanche danger tonight as heavy snow and high wind enters the region. Until the weather changes, the avalanche danger will be limited to isolated pockets such as unstable cornices and sluffing on very steep terrain.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
The last several days have been stable through Turnagain Pass. That trend will continue this morning, and possibly into the afternoon until the weather takes a turn. Get it while the gettins good, but keep an eye out for the big weather change.

As long as the wind stays calm, the avalanche danger should be isolated to manageable problems. Low avalanche danger does not mean no avalanche danger. Dont drop your guard because of this forecast, and be ready for a possible change by sometime this afternoon.

Cornices have grown into huge overhanging lobes, especially on some West facing aspects. We recommend keeping your distance from these features and approaching with caution.

Loose snow sluffing may be an issue, but only in very steep terrain. This issue has diminished over the last several days. For the most part, skiers and snowmachines are floating over the top 6-12 inches of loose snow. The surface snow has enough density that it isnt as prone to sluffing or entrainment issues as it was 3 days ago. You can still expect it on slopes steeper than 45 degrees.

Areas outside the core zone of Turnagain Pass may have local variations in the avalanche danger. Check out the photos/observations page for pictures of large avalanches from the last week. As always, evaluate the conditions based on what you find.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
We havent had significant snowfall since Monday. Over the last few days weve had light wind and below freezing temperatures. Temperatures this morning are into the mid to low single digits at 3000 feet, but should rise quickly this morning.

Today, partly sunny skies in the morning will gradually digress into snow showers in the afternoon. The real weather change will occur tonight, when a large front sweeps across the region from the West. This system is expected to bring heavy snow and high wind late tonight and Sunday morning. A blizzard warning has been issued for Sunday starting at 3am.

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: Apr 28, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: ClosedSKOOKUM DRAINAGE CLOSED TO MOTORIZED USE ON APRIL 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: OpenOpen thru May 14th.
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: OpenClosed May 1.
Lost Lake Trail: OpenClosed May 1.
Primrose Trail: OpenClosed May 1.
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: OpenClosed May 1.
South Fork Snow River Corridor: OpenClosed May 1.
Summit Lake: OpenClosed May 1.

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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