Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Wednesday, January 30th 2013 6:28 am by Kevin Wright
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

Avalanche danger today is mostly associated with the recent snow and wind slab.  A MODERATE danger exists above treeline from the several inches of new snow in the last few days and moderate wind.  A small amount of new snow today will keep the danger at moderate, but it may rise tonight with up to a foot of snow possible.  Below treeline is LOW, with a strong supportable crust underneath the recent few inches of loose snow.

 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

All recent reported avalanche activity is related to a shallow wind slab in steeper terrain.  That trend continues today with more wind slab expected with today's weather.  If you travel above treeline today, watch for wind drifting patterns related to slope aspect.  One recent report indicated that the shallow wind slab wasn't a major problem if anticipated.  The danger will become greater as the depth and mass of those wind slabs increases today.

As the snowfall picks up today, combined with rising temperatures and wind, the chance of finding more wind slab will increase.  By later tonight the storm snow by itself could be enough to cause concern without the wind component.  The timing on the greater amounts of snow is expected for late tonight and tomorrow morning. 

Avalanche Problem 2

The deep slab problem has not been evident in more than a week.  We believe it still warrants a minor discussion.  Triggering deep slab at this time will require perfect placement and an element of bad luck.  However, if that happens the consequences could be very bad.  It's worth considering this possibility in steep, shallow, and rocky terrain above treeline. 

Mountain Weather

The last couple days have brought just a few inches of snow, but enough to maintain moderate avalanche concerns. 

A weak front is moving across southcentral Alaska today, bringing snow to the mountains of Turnagain Arm.  Temperatures are expected to rise, bringing mixed rain and snow to sea level this afternoon.  Snowfall rates will increase this afternoon into Thursday morning, bringing between 8 and 18 inches to the mountains by tomorrow.  Southeast wind will reach into the 30s and 40s up high. 

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 20, 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: OpenPlease stay on trail to avoid resource damage through forested areas.
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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