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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Tuesday, April 3rd 2012 6:54 am by Graham Predeger
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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BROUGHT TO YOU BY
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Graham Predeger with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Tuesday, April 3rd 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).

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Skookum drainage is now closed to motorized use for the season. All CNFAIC Staff motorized areas on the Glacier Ranger District, including Placer Valley, 20-Mile and Johnson Pass remain open.


BOTTOM LINE
The avalanche danger is MODERATE today on slopes where buried surface hoar lays in tact. This includes north and east facing slopes at and above tree line where shallow slabs are still relatively easy to trigger. The more sun-affected slopes on south and west aspects are also harboring MODERATE avalanche danger today for wet, loose snow slides in the afternoon. Furthermore, this wet and loose activity can be found on all aspects below tree line.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
We found more evidence yesterday of shallow soft slabs balanced on top of at least three buried surface hoar layers in the upper 3 feet of our snowpack. Human-triggered avalanches will be possible today on northern aspects where shadows are still harboring dry snow. In steeper, north facing terrain anticipate these shallow slabs and plan your descent accordingly with escape routes and safe pockets in mind.

Any slope with a southerly tilt will be locked up and quite crusty this morning turning to slush as the sun works its way around the compass today. It'll be prudent to avoid these south aspects in the afternoon as solar radiation is peaking around 2-3 pm, loosening these crusts and underlying layers.

Primary Concern - Persistent Slab Avalanches
This has been the primary avalanche concern for several days in a row now on shaded, northerly slopes. The shallow, buried surface hoar we are dealing with is kind of like your in-laws who came to ski Alaska this spring. Manageable, but becoming increasingly annoying as they have been here since mid-March and have yet to allow you a day of freeskiing. As with your in-laws, pre-planning escape routes and zones of safety will go a long way in the backcountry today. Avoid slopes above terrain traps such as cliffs or rocky sections where a shallow slab may knock you off balance. If you dont have a good feeling about a slope, there is no shame in taking the conservative route down and skiing anCNFAIC Staff day.

Secondary Concern - Wet Avalanches, Cornices and Glide Cracks
There has been a lot of what we describe as 'avalanche dribbles' on all slopes below tree line and southerly slopes at all elevations. This wet, loose activity has been relegated to the surface so far but as more free water percolates through our snowpack we are likely to see a wet avalanche cycle initiate as we transition into spring.
Yesterday in the Turnagain pass region we saw evidence of fresh cornice fall as well as widening glide cracks. Pay attention to what is above you while ascending and avoid these overhead dangers.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER
It was a rather brilliant day throughout the core advisory area yesterday. Skies were mostly sunny, little to no wind and temperatures reaching the mid-20's at ridge tops.
Overnight, valley temperatures are dipping below freezing but expect a steep climb toward the 40-degree mark again today as the sun rises and some low lying fog burns off. It looks to be anCNFAIC Staff glorious day of high pressure on tap with temperatures in the 33-39 degree range at 1000 feet. Moderate north to west gusts will be possible ahead of an approaching frontal trough.


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.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
2 Moderate Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
2 Moderate Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
2 Moderate Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

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 06, 2018 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: ClosedClosed as of April 20th
Placer River: ClosedClosed as of April 17th
Skookum Drainage: ClosedClosed as of April 1st.
Turnagain Pass: ClosedClosed as of May 7th. Happy summer, see ya when the snow flies!
Twentymile: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Seward District
Carter Lake: ClosedClosed as of 4/27
Lost Lake Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Primrose Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 20th
Snug Harbor: ClosedClosed as of 4/27
South Fork Snow River Corridor: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Summit Lake: ClosedClosed as of April 20th

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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