Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Saturday, March 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

Yesterday snowed most of the day, with precipitation shutting off around 9pm last night.  Up to a foot of new snow accumulated in some higher elevation areas with a moderate southeast wind.  Above treeline a MODERATE avalanche danger can be found for wind slab created during the last 2 days.  Pockets of unstable snow can be found today, but are generally isolated to wind loaded features.

Skiers and riders in the backcountry today should be wary of stiffer snow on steeper terrain.  Non-wind affected areas will be less of a concern.

 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.
Special Announcement

This Sunday is the 2nd ANNUAL CORN HARVEST - get it on your calendar now !! Come join the CNFAIC Friends and Forecasting staff on Turnagain Pass for FREE FOOD, games, prizes, etc. This is one way we would like to thank all of you for your dedication and support.

Avalanche Problem 1

Nearly all the activity we've seen recently can be classified under wind slab.  Fortunately everything we've seen has been low volume and isolated to small pockets.  The photo below is from 2 days ago on Tincan.

Since we just got a significant additional load of new snow and wind, this concern is worse today.  Snowfall was heavy enough yesterday to limit visibility and prevent anybody from getting above treeline.  We haven't seen firsthand the areas of highest concern, but we know it's been snowing and blowing.  

South facing slopes will add another layer of complexity.  Multiple layers of buried sun crusts can be found on sunny aspects.  We don't know how those layers will react to the moderate additional snow load, but it's worth considering that new snow doesn't bond easily to slippery crusts.  Stability aside, those crust layers may affect the quality of skiing and riding on south aspects.


Avalanche Problem 2

In areas that were not wind affected we can expect loose snow to sluff easily in steep terrain.  Anywhere the wind didn't stiffen up the surface and slope angles exceed the mid 30 degrees you should expect snow to sluff and entrain volume on the way down.  This could be a problem if surprised or in steep channeled terrain.  

Mountain Weather

Snow totals for the last 24 hours

Turnagain Pass snotel - 8 inches

Alyeska midway - 10 inches

Summit lake mountains - 6 inches

Wind has been trending from the southeast in Turnagain Pass with variations depending on the location.  Temperatures are warmer than they've been, producing mixed rain and snow at sea level.  Above 1500 feet the snow is dry.

Today's weather calls for scattered snow showers.  The bulk of the precipitation has passed.  Expect a slight cooling trend and a diminishing trend with the wind.  


Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, March 31st.

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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