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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Friday, March 9th 2012
Created: Mar 9th 6:52 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 Friday, March 9th 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 in the core forecast zone is LOW. There are still a few of issues to think about including shallow wind slab, loose sluffing, and wet loose avalanches. All of these problems are only producing small avalanches and are confined to steep or extreme terrain. As always, expect to find variations if you venture into extreme terrain, higher elevation areas, or far outside of our core forecast area.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
The avalanche conditions have not changed over the last several days. Weather has brought sunny skies, colder temperatures, and light wind. Our general concern is low, with a few problems to think about in steeper terrain.

Concern #1 Wind Slab
We are finding pockets of shallow wind slab in a few places. At higher elevations, just off ridges, the wind slab can be found sitting on top of looser and weaker snow. We havent seen anything connect very large or react in an unpredictable manner, so its mostly just a heads up message to expect them.

Concern #2 Loose snow
Sluffing in steep terrain continues to be significant. Yesterday we found a couple places on multiple aspects where the sluff was running big enough and fast enough to knock a skier off his or her feet. Sluff management techniques are definitely warranted in steeper terrain.

Wet loose avalanches have occurred over the last several days on the warmer South aspects. In lower elevation terrain, South facing slopes will be crusted over. Today, natural sun sluffs should be less likely because temperatures are expected to remain colder and the crust must be melted completely before the heat can penetrate deeper.

We did find widespread surface hoar yesterday from valley bottoms all the way to high ridges. For the most part, the bigger frost feathers were found in low angle and low elevation areas. Nonetheless, tracking this issue over the next days of clear weather will be necessary before the next snowfall buries this future weak layer. Any observations on surface hoar location and size will be appreciated.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Weve had no new snow for the last several days and mostly sunny skies. Yesterday stayed cold in the mountains and only minimal melting on the sunny aspects was happening in the afternoon. Overnight, temperatures dropped even further. Sunburst station is reading 3 degrees this morning.

For today, a slight chance of snow shouldnt contribute to avalanche problems. Wind should be light, except near Whittier and Seward. Temperatures are expected to stay below freezing again, so the chance of sun sluffs is less likely.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

I will issue the next advisory Saturday 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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