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Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Wednesday, April 4th 2012
Created: Apr 4th 6:53 am
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.
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The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Wednesday, April 4th 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
We can expect 2 time zones in the avalanche danger today. This morning a LOW with pockets of MODERATE trend exists with a hard surface crust in most areas except Northerly upper elevation slopes. This afternoon/evening the trend moves towards overall MODERATE if the temperature increases enough to cause wet avalanching.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
With the degree of freezing last night, the possibility of finding avalanches this morning is isolated to upper elevation Northerly pockets where buried surface hoar might still be reactive. If temperatures get high enough in the afternoon the possibility of wet avalanches is pretty good, but all that solar energy will have to penetrate and melt the surface crust first. Travel late in the day should be strategically planned to avoid traveling on sunny slopes and near the bottom of large runout areas.

Concern #1 Buried Surface Hoar
This problem has shown itself to be pockety in nature. Its not hard to find in wind loaded areas above 2000 feet on shaded aspects. Its generally confined to the top foot of the snowpack, and the slab size seems to be in the smaller size range. The worst case scenario would be dropping into a steep North facing line where the runout takes you places you dont want to go.

Concern #2 Wet Avalanches
Late in the day on sunny low elevation slopes, natural activity is possible if our temperatures rise significantly. This problem didnt happen very severely yesterday with relatively colder temperatures and a really solid crust from the previous night. If the heat melts the crust this afternoon start thinking about getting off the South facing slopes before they fall apart in the evening.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER
Warm temperatures during the day and a hard freeze the last 2 nights means a solid supportable crust below 2000 feet across our region. Its been a while since any snowfall, and there is only a slight possibility of snow today. Clouds are expected to take over the sunny skies this afternoon and a chance of rain or snow is creeping into the forecast tomorrow.

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: Mar 15, 2017 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
Glacier District
Johnson Pass: OpenPlease park on road in and leave the turnaround (near outhouse) open for trailers to turn around.
Placer River: Open
Skookum Drainage: OpenSkookum drainage closes to motorized use on April 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: Open
Seward District
Carter Lake: Open
Lost Lake Trail: OpenPlease STAY ON existing and hardened trail surface through the lower sections of this route.
Primrose Trail: OpenPlease STAY ON existing and hardened trail surface through the lower sections of this route.
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed for 2016/17 winter season. This is a non-motorized season. This alternates every other year and will open again during the 2017/18 winter.
Snug Harbor: Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Open
Summit Lake: Open

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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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