Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Kevin Wright  
Friday, April 12th 2013
Created: Apr 12th 5:30 am
2 Moderate Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
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.
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
Alaska Rock Gym
Special Announcement

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Craig Patterson, a Utah Department of Transportation avalanche forecaster who died yesterday.  Check the Utah Avalanche Center website for the latest information on this tragic event.

The Bottom Line

Overall our snowpack has good stability.  The only concerns we've been seeing are in the layers near the surface - in the top 2 feet.  Some areas at higher elevation that received more snow recently in addition to wind loading could have pockets of triggerable wind slab.  

Watch out for specific wind loaded features.  Small and shallow 1-2 foot deep avalanches are possible.

Most areas that have not been affected by wind loading will have a low avalanche danger today.

Primary Concern

Recent Activity

We got a report yesterday of a skier triggered avalanche on Raggedtop in Girdwood.  The slide was up to 2 feet deep, 50-75 feet wide, and large enough to bury a person.  See the full description on the observations page.

The wind slab problem has been evident over the last few days in specific wind loaded areas.  Keep in mind that this issue is not found everywhere, but should be expected on certain terrain features.  Wendy's picture from yesterday is a good example of terrain that holds the wind slab potential.

With an increased north wind expected in the weather forecast today, we will see more of that soft light surface snow blowing around and creating more wind slab.  This problem is going to get a little worse today.


Secondary Concern

Yesterday we were able to get soft snow to sluff in steep terrain.  It was fairly low volume, but should be expected on steep slopes and channeled terrain such as chutes and couloirs.  

Sluffing is not likely to carry enough volume to bury a person, but it could be dangerous in very steep or high consequence terrain.

Mountain Weather

Sunny skies are forecasted today.  Temperatures this morning are in the single digits, with an expected daytime warming into the mid 20s.  A north wind should increase today with channeled outflow wind accelerating through some specific areas.  Turnagain Pass will see wind from 12-28 mph.  Seward could reach 40mph, and Whittier could see gusts to 60mph.  

Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 13th.


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: Dec 08, 2017 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedRain and snow have fallen in Turnagain Pass this week, but not enough to open for snowmachining. Continue to check back to this site for updates.
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.

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