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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, March 7th 2012
Created: Mar 7th 6:33 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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Alyeska Resort
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, March 7th 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
Most areas this morning will have a LOW avalanche danger. Our primary concern is up above treeline, where pockets of MODERATE hazard exist in wind slabs and wet and dry sluffs. Watch for changes this afternoon as the sun melts South facing slopes and causes small wet loose natural avalanches.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Overall stability seems to be good. The snowpack continues the trend this season of no persistent weak layers. The exception is recent shallow wind slabs in steep terrain. Over the weekend we heard of a number of people popping small wind slabs. New snow on Monday night with moderate wind contributed to that problem. Its the kind of problem that wont likely be found except in steep terrain where the wind has loaded pockets in just the right way. We have found a fair bit of pockety shallow wind slab with loose soft snow underneath, the kind of snow that feels stiff and suspect.

Dry sluffs on shady aspects and wet sluffs on sunny aspects will be possible today. Neither of these are likely to cause big problems unless the terrain exposure is dangerous by itself. Yesterday we saw quite a few wet loose avalanches in the afternoon. Most of these were on direct South facing steep chutes, like the ones just above the Seward Highway between Bird and Portage. A couple of these actually popped shallow slabs as the wet snow entrained drier snow on the way down. South facing slopes are probably going to be the worst quality this morning until the sun has time to soften the melt/freeze crust.

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Yesterday morning had 6-8 inches of light density dry snow in our region. Some of that snow fell with a moderate East wind before it got calm at the tail end of the snowfall event. Through the daylight hours yesterday, a sunny and calm day persisted. All the sun produced melting on the South aspects, resulting in occasional sun sluffs and a crust layer.

Sunny and calm weather is expected again today. Colder temperatures this morning should rise substantially when the sun gets high enough to produce heat. A second day of sun will likely cause more sun induced sluffs, but perhaps fewer than yesterday.

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: Nov 18, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedOnly a few inches of snow sits at the motorized lot, not enough to open for snowmachining at this time. Updated Nov. 18, 2017
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedResurrection Pass trail is expected to 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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