Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Tuesday, April 2nd 2013 6:35 am by Wendy Wagner
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

We are starting out today with a LOW avalanche danger that will increase to MODERATE by the afternoon as the daytime sun warms the snow surface. Wet point release avalanches as well as wet slabs will have the potential to be triggered either naturally or by a person. Additionally, if you are heading to the steep upper elevation northerly slopes you could find a lingering wind slab.

 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

A few announcements this morning.

First and foremost:  We would like to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to the many of you who donated through Pick Click Give!! We cannot stress enough how essential your support is for the sustainability of the Avalanche Center. Also, for those joining us at the Corn Harvest on Sunday, thanks for making it a successful and fun afternoon!

Second:  The hotline is currently down due to phone issues with the hosting line. This will hopefully be fixed in the next day or two.

And, on a business note:  The Skookum drainage is now closed to motorized travel for the remainder of the season.

Avalanche Problem 1

Springtime sun and warm temperatures are ushering in April. We are in a melt freeze regime on all aspects below treeline and south, east and west aspects above treeline. Temperatures are showing a fairly decent refreeze overnight that should become softened by today's sunshine. This can be seen on BeadedStream's temperature profile at Center Ridge,1880ft. It takes a minute to digest the information but check it out - it's really cool!

Avalanche activity yesterday was minimal but one notable slide did take place on Max's Mountain in Girdwood (photo below). This slid sometime Monday and looks to be an old wind slab from Friday's snow/wind. It is believed to be a natural triggered by yesterday's sun and warm temperatures. It is that time of year where the snowpack is beginning its transition to summer and the sun and warm temperatures become a large player in destabilizing the pack. As is often stated: Once the snow becomes so soft that it doesn't support your skis or sled it is high time to head for a shadier/cooler aspect.

Avalanche Problem 2

Cornices have been peeling off slowly the past few days and this trend is likely to continue with the warm weather. They have been triggering slabs from Friday's snow over the weekend and as the pack fluctuates between freeze/thaw what is triggered by a cornice should fluctuate as well. Nonetheless, steering clear of these from both above and below is wise.

Additional concerns:
Wind Slab - Lingering wind slabs are suspect for those that are heading to steep north upper elevation slopes. One party found and triggered one of these on Sunday and sent in a great report.

Mountain Weather

Yesterday was our 3rd warm and partly sunny day since Friday when 8-12" of snow fell over the region. During the past 24 hours winds have been light out of the northwest (~5mph gusting 15mph). Temperatures peaked yesterday in the mid 20's F on the ridgelines and the upper 30's at 1,000ft. Overnight temperatures have fallen, with what looks to be mostly clear skies, to the upper teens on the ridges and low 20's at 1,000ft.

Today we can expect mostly sunny skies with a few clouds streaming in later in the day. We might hit the 40deg F mark at 2,000' and the 32deg mark on the ridgelines. Winds are shifting around to the SE but look to remain light with gusts to 15mph.

There is a ridge of high pressure over interior Alaska that will stay in place through the week. This will keep mostly clear skies and light winds over our area.


Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 3rd.

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.

If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email
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