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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Saturday, March 10th 2012
Created: Mar 10th 6:50 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, March 10th 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
Mild weather is keeping our avalanche danger at LOW again today. Nonetheless, a variety of different snow stability issues can still be found. Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain are possible today.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
The backcountry today will have a generally stable character. Its a great time to go exploring far and wide, but remember when you get far from our forecast zone and into complex and steeper terrain, more of the burden of avalanche forecasting gets put on you to identify specific problems. Avalanche problems can be found today, but they should be small in size and relatively hard to find.

Concern #1 Loose snow
Sluffing in steep terrain continues to be easy to find. This problem is directly related to 2 variables how much loose snow is available, and how steep the angle is. Loose snow is more likely to be found on shaded and wind sheltered aspects. The problem angles are generally pretty steep greater than 40 degrees. Sluff management techniques may be necessary to prevent being overrun and taken for a ride.

Concern #2 Wind Slab
Isolated pockets of shallow wind slab can be found at higher elevations off ridges. This is a focused problem, specific to the areas that have gotten wind in the last few days. On Thursday we found a stiffer wind slab on top of looser dry snow that had a tendency to break off in plates. We have not found wider connectivity with these slabs, but they can be a problem if found unexpectedly in high consequence terrain.

The wet loose avalanche problem is unlikely to be significant today. Well need to get back to sunnier and warmer weather before the oozing sun sluffs start to move again. Be prepared to find crusts on lower elevation South aspects that will make skiing difficult.

CNFAIC Staff random unpredictable problems can be found in the backcountry right now. We got a report of a full depth glide avalanche just 3 days ago. Also, cornices are quite large and overhanging in some areas, and can easily fail under the weight of a person.

Surface hoar is starting to form in some areas. 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
Our last shot of snow came on Monday, so weve had 4 solid days of no significant weather. Warmer temperatures and strong sunny weather have affected South aspects with a sun crust at lower elevations.

For today, a trace of snow is expected under Mostly Cloudy skies. Wind is expected to be light except near Whittier and Seward. Our mild weather pattern should to continue through the week, with only light snowfall potential.

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: 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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