CNFAIC LogoCNFAIC Logo

Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Graham Predeger  
Monday, April 9th 2012
Created: Apr 9th 6:59 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.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
The Bottom Line
Good morning. This is Graham Predeger with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Monday, April 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
There is a MODERATE avalanche danger today for the core advisory area. Small, human triggered slab avalanches are possible in specific areas where buried surface hoar persists. A second concern comes in the form of wet avalanches. Anticipate wet activity on any slopes with a west or south tilt as the sun makes its way around the compass. A LOW avalanche danger will exist this morning at all elevations on west, south and east aspects until temperatures are enough to break down surface crusts. On north aspects above tree line, the danger is MODERATE all day.

AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
With clear skies and a solid overnight freeze, all elevations on east, west and south aspects are sporting a stout, semi-supportable crust. Human triggered avalanches will be unlikely until the sun has a chance to heat up the surface and penetrate these layers. Once surface crusts become unsupportable and punchy, avalanche danger will rise to moderate on sun-affected slopes. Higher elevation (above tree line) north facing slopes continue to harbor dry surface snow over buried surface hoar. Shallow, this surface hoar is still proving reactive to a skiers weight and not bonding particularly well with neighboring layers.

Primary Concern- Persistent Slabs
These shallow persistent slabs will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future as this buried surface hoar is akin to a stubbed toe that just won't seem to heal. Though mostly manageable (8-16") these slabs are running very fast when initiated and have the potential to cause harm if you find yourself in or above high consequence terrain such as cliffs or rocks. These persistent slabs are found in north facing terrain above tree line, precisely where most folks are seeking out quality snow.

Secondary Concern - Wet Avalanches/Glide Avalanches and Cornices
Don't forget the sunscreen today! As the sun reaches its peak solar radiation around 1-3PM, south and west facing slopes will begin to lose their structural integrity. Once you can step off your skis or snowmachine and the surface crust no longer supports you, this is a good sign to limit your exposure to steep sun-affected slopes. Some heat-induced shallow wet slabs were observed yesterday in the Girdwood valley as well, comprised primarily of Saturdays new snow. Additionally, glide cracks and cornices are becoming further stressed with several hours of direct sunlight each day. It will be a good idea to limit your exposure to these features as you travel through the mountains today and for the rest of the season.


MOUNTAIN WEATHER

Saturday's unsettled weather brought 2-3" of snow to the Girdwood valley and less at Turnagain pass, which melted quickly as the sun came out for Easter Sunday. We experienced a light freeze at sea level yesterday morning as the weak low pressure moved out of the area and skies cleared.
Today and for the next couple of days, a high-pressure ridge will dominate south central Alaska weather. This stable air mass will provide us with mostly clear skies, light winds and as long as nights are clear, below-freezing temperatures at sea level. Expect temperatures to reach the high 30's today at 1000', becoming increasingly cooler as you gain elevation.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

I will issue the next advisory tomorrow 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: Apr 11, 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: OpenWide swaths of open river in the Placer Valley. Travel with extreme caution!
Skookum Drainage: ClosedSKOOKUM DRAINAGE CLOSED TO MOTORIZED USE ON APRIL 1 annually as per the Chugach National Forest Plan document.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: ClosedClosed for the remainder of the 2017 season.
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

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
© 2017 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
FCNFAIC