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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   CNFAIC Staff  
Tuesday, March 13th 2012
Created: Mar 13th 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.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Chris Engelhardt with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Tuesday, March 13th 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 remains LOW in the core Tunagain Pass area. Dry loose snow sluffing in steep terrain and shallow wind slabs on the leeward side of ridges remain the biggest concern today. The great weather lately and overall snow stability in the core forecast zone has contributed to wonderful skiing and riding opportunities, but do not let it lull you into complacency. Always follow good protocols while traveling in avalanche terrain. Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain are always possible. On the periphery and outside our core zone areas of MODERATE danger may exist.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Continued calm sunny days combined with cold nights and calm to non-existent winds has settled the snow pack significantly. Robust, thin wind slabs were found yesterday just off ridge tops and they felt hollow and drum like. We avoided these areas as well as the large cornices hovering over the leeward side of ridges. Observations yesterday saw lots of dry loose sluffing on steeper terrain caused by skiers. Be aware of this when choosing the terrain youre skiing and make good decisions on how to manage the loose snow that will be chasing you down the hill. If you are riding or skiing in lower elevations continue to avoid traveling underneath sunny aspects that continue to produce wet loose snow releases as rocks heat up during the day.
The snow surface in the Turnagain Pass zone is becoming less consistent as sun crusts have developed on south aspects and the light loose powder on north, east and west aspects has been moved around, compacted and is starting to recrystallize. Also, surface hoar has been observed at all elevations and will be something to track in the future. Check out our observations and photos page for more condition details.

Primary concern: Loose Snow
Loose snow sluffing on all aspects above 40 degrees. Concerted terrain and sluff management is needed if you are intending on stepping it up and skiing steep committing terrain.

Secondary concern: Wind Slab
Wind slabs on the leeward edge of ridges, steep rolls and convexities remain a concern on wind loaded aspects and unsupported slopes (e.g. Slopes above cliffs).

MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Yesterday remained quite sunny and calm with temperatures in the mid-20s. Winds were stagnant and remained that way into the early night. Last night, temperatures warmed up slightly from previous nights into the 10-14F range. Today, winds are supposed to pick up slightly to 10-20mph and blow from the east and southeast. Temperatures should be in the 17-25F at lower elevations and there is a chance of scattered snow showers throughout the day. Skies were clear and the stars were sparkling early this morning in the Girdwood valley.
Currently there is an upper low centered over Southwest Alaska and we are expected to get scattered snow showers throughout the rest of the week. Perhaps we will get some nice pulses to refresh the snow surface.


CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

Kevin will issue the next advisory Wednesday 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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