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Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Monday, January 11th 2010 6:56 am by CNFAIC Staff
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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BROUGHT TO YOU BY
The Bottom Line
Good morning backcountry travelers this is Lisa Portune with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Monday, January 11th at 7am. This will serve as a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).

WEATHER ROUNDUP
No new snow fell in the last 24 hours in Turnagain Pass. Actually our last significant snowfall was 16 days ago on Dec 26. Yesterday ridgetop winds were light while mountain temperatures ranged from the mid 20s to low 30s. High clouds moved in by afternoon, and a low band of fog lingered for most of the day. As of 4 am this morning, skies are clear while ridgetop winds in Turnagain Pass are light and variable. Temperatures plummeted overnight and are anywhere from 10 to 25 degrees colder than this time yesterday. There is a 10 degree temperature inversion this morning with temps ranging from 19F at 3800 feet to 9F at sea level. The occluded front will weaken today with most of the rain and snow remaining offshore. Some clouds may move in by this afternoon with mountain temperatures remaining in the low to mid teens. Ridgetop winds could get gusty but should remain on the light and variable side.

-The Center Ridge Wx Station at 1800 feet/Turnagain Pass-
recorded no new snow in the last 24 hours. The current temp is 8F (23 degrees colder than yesterday) with a total snowpack depth of 56 inches.

-The Sunburst Wx Station at 3800 feet/Turnagain Pass-
recorded light northeasterly winds yesterday averaging 5-10mph. The current temp is 19F (10 degrees colder than yesterday) with winds averaging 5mph out of the northeast.

-The Summit Lake Wx Station at 1200 feet-
recorded no new snow in the last 24 hours. The current temp is 1F (27 degrees colder than yesterday) with a total snowpack depth of 29 inches.

-The Fresno Ridge Wx Station at 3400 feet/Summit Lake-
recorded light southeasterly winds yesterday averaging 10-15mph with gusts in the 20s. The current temp is 16F (11 degrees colder than yesterday) with winds averaging 5mph out of the south.

The weather forecast for:
WESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND-
INCLUDING...WHITTIER...SEWARD...GIRDWOOD...MOOSE PASS

500 AM AKST MON JAN 11 2010

...STRONG WIND THROUGH TONIGHT...

.TODAY...SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 20S TO LOWER 30S...COLDEST
INLAND. NORTH TO WEST WINDS 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 45 MPH NEAR
SEWARD AND WHITTIER. VARIABLE WINDS 5 TO 15 MPH ELSEWHERE.
.TONIGHT...INCREASING CLOUDS. LOWS ZERO TO 20 ABOVE...COLDEST INLAND.
NORTH TO WEST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS 30 TO 45 MPH NEAR SEWARD
AND WHITTIER. LIGHT WINDS ELSEWHERE.
.TUESDAY...CLOUDY WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SNOW. HIGHS IN THE MID
TEENS TO LOWER 30S...COLDEST INLAND. VARIABLE WIND TO 10 MPH. EXCEPT
NORTH TO WEST WINDS 15 TO 30 MPH NEAR SEWARD AND WHITTIER.

TEMPERATURE / PRECIPITATION

SEWARD 30 20 28 / 0 0 30
GIRDWOOD 21 8 22 / 0 0 20



AVALANCHE DISCUSSION
Today, a LOW avalanche danger exists on all slopes which means that natural and human-triggered avalanches are unlikely. You may find a few lingering small, hard, windslabs above 3000 feet in isolated areas like steep windloaded couloirs or crossloaded gullies near ridgetops. We are looking at generally stable avalanche conditions, but as always, evaluate the snow and terrain carefully and always use good travel habits.

Not much has changed since yesterday CNFAIC Staff than we have a new batch of surface hoar growing on top of the recent rain crust with faceted crystals forming underneathfuture weak layers for sure that we will watch closely. A few small point release wet slides happened during the rain event midweek, but thats about it for recent avalanche activity. The rain line reached about 2800 feet this past week, so this current rain crust (aka future slick bed surface) is much higher in elevation than the previous rain crusts that topped out at 2000 feet. Matt and Jon toured up Magnum yesterday and felt that this may become the first bad weak layer we've seen at the upper elevations since the facets on the ground earlier this season. The slick crust is at a location where slope angles start getting steeper and folks might get false data from snowpits up high.

This past week we found various instabilities in the top 6-12 inches at the higher elevations, but they have not been reactive to skiers or riders. These weak layers include old buried facets, decomposing stellar crystals, and density changes between windslabs. Below 2200 feet, the old buried surface hoar from the second week of December is buried 1-1.5 feet down but has not been reactive in our stability tests.

Some Summit Lake observations from Friday 1/8Alex found 3 separate layers of small buried surface hoar in the top 1.5 feet sandwiched in between hard windslabs at 2700 feet on a south aspect of Fresno Ridge. They were not especially reactive in his isolated column stability tests (CT22,23 both Q2s), but they are still layers of concern.

Matt will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry give us a call at 754-2369 or send us your observations using the button at the top of this page.

 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
1 Low Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
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.

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 )

AREA STATUS WEATHER AND RIDING CONDITIONS
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.


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
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