Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Wednesday, April 16th 2014 6:49 am by Kevin Wright
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

New snow and rain is a minor factor in the current snowpack.  Wind slab from the snowfall a few days ago is possible in steep terrain.  Persistent warm temperatures are increasing the chance for wet avalanche activity, especially at lower elevations.  

The danger rating will be at MODERATE both above and below treeline for the reasons mentioned.  Avalanche size is expected to be small, but they may be possible in many areas.  

 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.
2 Moderate Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
2 Moderate Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Special Announcement

Advisories will be issued 5 days per week - Wednesday to Sunday - through April 27th.  

Avalanche Problem 1

Have we turned the corner to Spring meltdown?  I don't think we are quite there in the avalanche sense, but cold below-freezing temperatures are getting to be rare.  With rain and no freezing below 2000 feet, watch for surface snow to be pushable, especially late in the day.  If loose, water saturated snow gets to be deeper than about 6 inches, it is a sign that the snowpack is losing strength.  

Wet avalanche activity is most likely to be found below 2000 feet late in the day.  If the sun is shining, then south aspects may be more prone to this problem.

Avalanche Problem 2

We saw evidence of one small wind slab 2 days ago on the RWIS camera pointed at Eddy's.  This is very minor for an avalanche, but it is an indicator of larger possibilities in bigger terrain.  We may still be able to trigger pockets like this in the higher starting zones around Turnagain Pass.  

Wind during that last storm on the 13th-14th was predominately from the east.  Look for more wind slab formation on west aspects.  


Mountain Weather

A shot of snow a few days ago laid a thin layer of new snow on the surface, but did not produce much for avalanche activity.  

Today's weather will include some rain, mixed with snow at higher elevations.  Snowfall amount will be miniscule.  Temperatures are barely reaching freezing at night up to about 2000 feet. Variable wind to 10mph.  

The rest of the work week looks like the same pattern, with a chance of rain and warm temperatures.  The next chance for sun comes on Saturday and Sunday.


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: May 06, 2018 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: ClosedClosed as of April 20th
Placer River: ClosedClosed as of April 17th
Skookum Drainage: ClosedClosed as of April 1st.
Turnagain Pass: ClosedClosed as of May 7th. Happy summer, see ya when the snow flies!
Twentymile: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Seward District
Carter Lake: ClosedClosed as of 4/27
Lost Lake Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Primrose Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 20th
Snug Harbor: ClosedClosed as of 4/27
South Fork Snow River Corridor: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Summit Lake: ClosedClosed as of April 20th

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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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