Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Tuesday, November 27th 2012 6:47 am by Wendy Wagner
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

We are issuing advisories 5 days a week through November on Sat, Sun, Tue, Thur and Fri.

The next advisory will be issued Thursday, November 29th.

A reminder that motorized use areas remain closed due to the thin snow cover. The Forest Service aims to open these areas as soon as possible so once the storms get rolling watch for status updates at the end of this advisory page.

Above treeline we continue to have a MODERATE avalanche danger for persistent slab avalanches. It remains possible for a person to trigger one of these slabs on the steeper slopes above 3000’ on south, west and northerly aspects. Safer riding conditions can be found where a slab of stiffer snow does not overlie the weak snow from October. Below treeline there is a LOW avalanche danger.

This BOTTOM LINE will also pertain to Wednesday, November 28th

 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.
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.
Avalanche Problem 1

There has not been a whole lot of change in the avalanche conditions lately and we have not heard of any avalanche activity the past few days. The pack is becoming weaker and weaker every day under clear and cold weather. Surface conditions consist of surface hoar in most areas and near surface facets below. Very little wind for a while now has kept the recycled powder quite nice. The snow is still mostly supportable to skis and/or a board but once you step off, your boot goes straight to the tundra. Rocks are the biggest hazard where most folks are recreating right now.

That said, the steeper slopes at the upper elevations continue to harbor slabs that have the potential to avalanche to the ground and take someone on a nasty ride. Slopes that are most likely to be triggered are those at the higher elevations in the 40 degree range and unsupported from below. Probing with a pole to feel for stiff snow over hollow feeling snow and watching for collapsing and cracking are good ways to find suspect areas.

This problem is very slowly getting better and for the snow geek here is a pit profile of one such suspect slope HERE. There are a few reasons the pack is taking longer to rot away at the upper elevations. One is the snow is deeper and stiffer than the lower elevations so it simply takes longer. Another is the temperature has remained warmer (upper teens to mid 20’s) compared with the single digit temperatures below treeline, this is creating much lower snowpack temperature gradients at the higher elevations than the large gradients seen at the lower elevations. But the fact remains, the whole pack is well on its way to becoming one big weak layer.

Mountain Weather

Clear skies and light easterly winds prevail once again today. A strong temperature gradient exists this morning with mid 20’s F above treeline and minus single digits below treeline, -10F in Portage (burr). Winds are clam currently and forecast to be around 5mph today from the east. Tomorrow, Wednesday, looks to me more of the same. In fact, it looks that way into the beginning of December:



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). 

Kevin will issue the next advisory Thursday morning, November 29th.

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 22, 2019 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Open
Placer River: ClosedClosed as of 3.20.19 due to lack of snow.
Skookum Drainage: ClosedPlacer access closed as of 3.20.19 due to lack of snow.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: ClosedClosed as of 3.20.19 due to lack of snow.
Seward District
Carter Lake: Open
Lost Lake Trail: ClosedClosed as of 3/22. Unfortunately HEAVY rain over the past week has washed much of the snow off the lower stretches of this trail.
Primrose Trail: OpenPlease stay on trail to avoid resource damage through forested areas.
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed for the 2018/19 season. Next season will be open to motorized use.
Snug Harbor: Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor: ClosedClosed as of 3.20.19 due to lack of snow.
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.

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