Saturday, February 15th 2014 6:41 am by John Fitzgerald
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
The avalanche hazard is CONSIDERABLE today for all terrain above treeline. Dangerous conditions exist. Wind slabs up to 2 feet in depth as well as loose snow avalanches are likely to be triggered by humans venturing above treeline. Natural avalanches are also possible in the higher elevations today.
Below treeline the hazard is MODERATE, where it will be possible for humans to trigger loose snow and soft slab avalanches up to 18" in depth on all aspects.
Knowledge of terrain above will also be critical today, as avalanches in the higher elevations have the potential to run into lower elevation areas.
|Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale|
|Travel Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious routefinding and conservative decision-making essential.|
New snow over the past week is helping to rebuild the snowpack in areas that were showing bare ground after the January rain and warmth. Motorized areas on the Chugach National Forest remain closed to avoid resource damage. The good news is that we are getting closer to re opening these areas. Check the bottom of the page for the latest updates as well as the Chugach National Forest website.
There are still a few raffle tickets left for the February 21st drawing to win some great prizes including a day of Valdez Heli Skiing or Alaska Airlines Tickets! Join the Friends of CNFAIC at The Midnight Sun Brewery from 6-8PM Sunday night to pick up your raffle ticket and some free swag!
Snowfall amounts over the past 24 hours ranging from 6” in the lower elevations to 18” in the higher elevations are bringing with it all of the issues related to storm snow.
Loose Snow avalanches
Yesterday my partner and I were able to easily produce sluffing in steep terrain, generally over 40 degrees. Loose snow sluffs will be easy to trigger today and could entrain enough snow to knock people off of their feet. This issue becomes exacerbated when traveling above terrain traps such as cliffs, trees, and gullies.
Enough snow has fallen over the past 24 hours to create slabs without the presence of wind. While the general set up on the surface is loose snow, slabs were beginning to form in sheltered areas late in the day yesterday. Be on the lookout for shooting cracks when traveling on terrain 35 degrees and above today. While these slabs are generally soft, the potential exists for them to propagate across slopes and run far.
Winds out of the East cranked up enough yesterday afternoon and into the night to create wind slabs up to 2 feet in depth that will be very sensitive to the weight of a person today. Avoiding leeward slopes above 35 degrees is your best bet for avoiding this problem. These newly formed slabs also have the potential to trigger deeper layers in the snowpack.
The most prominent weak layer above 3,500’ is facets sitting on the stout January crust. This layer (along with the crust) has been associated with remotely triggered avalanches over the last week. Since Feb 7th, up to 30” of snow with 2” of water has fallen in the higher elevations. This slab has had time to settle and become more dense. The interface between this slab and the January crust is suspect. Visibility yesterday limited our ability to assess this interface. Because of this lack of information, this layer & the slab above it are guilty until proven innocent. Avoidance of steep (over 35 degree) upper elevation starting zones and cross loaded gullies will be the best management tactic related to this problem today.
Winter Part 2 has arrived!
In the past 24 hours the Turnagain Pass SNOTEL site has picked up 14” of new snow with 1” of water. The Girdwood Valley has seen less amounts, with stations averaging 6-8” snow with .5” of water. Winds that picked up overnight have calmed this morning. Sunburst averaged 20mph with gust to 69mph. Ridge top temps have averaged in the low teens and are currently reading in the high single digits F.
Today expect a continuation of light snowfall. Accumulations of 2-4” are possible. Temperatures at 1,000’ will be in the teens to low 20s F. Winds will be out of the East at 10-15 mph.
A very large area of Low pressure centered over Kodiak island will remain in place through the weekend. Expect light snow with occasional breaks in the clouds to continue through the next several days.
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).
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|
|Placer River:||Closed||Closed as of 3.20.19 due to lack of snow.|
|Skookum Drainage:||Closed||Placer access closed as of 3.20.19 due to lack of snow.|
|Twentymile:||Closed||Closed as of 3.20.19 due to lack of snow.|
|Lost Lake Trail:||Closed||Closed 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:||Open||Please stay on trail to avoid resource damage through forested areas.|
|Resurrection Pass Trail:||Closed||Closed for the 2018/19 season. Next season will be open to motorized use.|
|South Fork Snow River Corridor:||Closed||Closed as of 3.20.19 due to lack of snow.|
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If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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