Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Wednesday, January 23rd 2013 6:15 am by Kevin Wright
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

Unseasonably warm temperatures, with small amounts of rain and snow, are elevating the danger slightly with a wet concern in lower elevations.  MODERATE avalanche danger can be found above treeline for deep slab problems combined with wind slabs at the ridges.  Below treeline is also MODERATE for wet avalanche concerns associated with the above freezing temperatures.  

 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.
Avalanche Problem 1

Temperatures have dropped a little since Monday, but remain above freezing to around 2000 feet.  Some minor surface stability issues have been noted with the warming temperatures, but nothing has caused great concern.  Riding conditions changed quickly with the warmup.  If it was soft carvy powder, it probably isn't anymore until you get above the zone that thawed at the surface...

Wind Slab-

Higher up, above 2000-2500 feet, the effects of the warmup will be less noticeable.  In this zone the recent precipitation came as snow and wind has been blowing.  Watch for wind loading and associated wind slabs.  Continued light snowfall today combined with moderate wind will contribute to this problem. 

Avalanche Problem 2

Our old friend that won't go away is mostly out of sight, but not yet out of mind.  As time goes on and the snowpack gets deeper this problem will likely remain dormant unless one or two conditions are met.  A person could still cause a deep slab avalanche if he or she finds the unlucky trigger point.  This will be an area where the snow depth is thinner, possibly with exposed rocks nearby.

The other factor that will bring us concern would be a large precipitation event.  Our current weak storm system is probably not enough to bring the deep slab problem back to life.  We will talk about it in stronger terms again during a more powerful storm event.

Mountain Weather

Above the freezing line we've been getting a few inches of snow each day for the past few days.  Below freezing line the snowpack is losing depth.

We can expect more of the same weather today with a rain/snow level near 1000 feet and continued light snow.  1-3 inches of snow is possible today with another 2-5 inches tonight.  Wind up high will be up to 35mph from the east to southeast.  The overall trend through the rest of the week looks colder with continued light snow. 

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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