Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Friday, April 11th 2014
Created: Apr 11th 6:44 am
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.
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The Bottom Line

Avalanche danger will be LOW today at all elevations and all aspects.  There is a possibility of causing minor loose snow sluffing in steep terrain.  Afternoon temperatures are expected to reach into the high 30s with sunny skies, so wet activity is possible on sun exposed slopes late in the day.

Primary Concern

Today looks like the last day of sunny weather before clouds, snow and rain take over.  Get out and enjoy it while you can.  

Overall stability is excellent.  At road elevation only a couple inches of snow from early in the week are on top of a supportable crust.  The higher up you get, the more soft snow you will find.  Shaded aspects seem to be holding the softest snow, and direct south has more variable crust to contend with.  

Yesterday it was possible to initiate low volume sluff in steep terrain.  (see photo below)  The ~8 inches of soft faceting snow tumbles away easily and will entrain snow below if the slope angle is around 40 degrees or steeper.  The density of this layer is so light that even getting "caught" by it wouldn't be much of a problem. 

Warmer temperatures today with very little wind could start causing some wet avalanche activity late in the day.


Mountain Weather

The last snowfall was on Tuesday when 6-8 inches fell around Turnagain Pass and Girdwood.  Since then temperatures have stayed fairly cold, and generally below freezing.  

Today looks like another brilliant sunny day.  Expect warmer temperatures.  Overnight lows have already stayed about 10 degrees warmer than the last couple nights.  Daytime highs are expected to break the freezing mark and reach the high 30s.

Clouds tonight will lead to a chance of rain and snow for the weekend.  The general pattern will be changing from sunny and stable to unsettled.


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: Nov 18, 2017 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedOnly a few inches of snow sits at the motorized lot, not enough to open for snowmachining at this time. Updated Nov. 18, 2017
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedResurrection Pass trail is expected to open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.
Snug Harbor: Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
Summit Lake: Closed

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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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