Sunshine and Springtime – AND – Dangerous Avalanche Conditions

Spring has rolled into the mountains with warm weather, sunshine and some rainy days in between. Although winter is coming to a close, avalanche season is still well underway. As the snowpack heats up, melts down and loses its strength, small to large wet avalanches are expected to continue region wide – into May. Be aware, these can release naturally or be easily triggered on steep slopes that are wet and saturated.

The key is:

If the snowpack frozen and hard = avalanches are unlikely.

If the snowpack is soggy and supportable to your snowmachine/skis/boots/etc, it will easily slide down the mountian if the slope is steep enough = avalanches are probable.


3rd Annual SNOWBALL – Feb 17th !!!!

snowballIt’s our third annual Snowball! This year, the 49th State Brewing Co Anchorage will be gracious enough to host us. We will be featuring music by Sassafrass, craft beer, door prizes, raffle drawing, and silent auction. All proceeds to benefit Alaska Avalanche School and Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

Come out, have some fun, and win some prizes- all in the honor of avalanche awareness and education!

$25- tickets include one free drink before 9pm.

Tickets available here.

Avalanche Rescue Workshop – FREE – with CNFAIC at Turnagain Pass, Saturday Feb 11th!!

Join CNFAIC forecasters for a FREE hands-on and in-the-snow avalanche rescue workshop!!

This 1.5 hour informal rescue workshop is geared for all user groups. Grab your friends and join us before hitting the hills!!

WHERE:   Turnagain Pass (Motorized parking lot) – Look for the blue CNFAIC avalanche trailer.

WHEN:  Saturday, February 11th, 11:00am – 12:30pm

We will focus on practicing with your avalanche beacon, probe and shovel – so wear gear to walk and dig in the snow! We’ll also talk and work on strategic shoveling techniques and common mistakes.

This workshop is open to everyone and anyone, novices and experts, that recreate in avalanche terrain – snowmachiners, skiers, kicker-builders, etc!! Practicing our rescue skills is a must for all of us. This workshop will be a fun hour that could help save a life in the future. See you there!

**Don’t forget to bring your rescue gear: avalanche beacon, shovel, probe. We will have a few extras to borrow as well.


SnoMoObs 1Heather_Thamm9N4A0839

CNFAIC Presentation on: The Turnagain Pass snowpack to date – at the Alaska Avalanche School – Jan 12th!!

Join CNFAIC forecasters for an evening of avalanche awareness and a discussion on how the snowpack in the Turnagain Pass region has shaped up so far. What weather events have impacted snow and avalanche conditions and what type of avalanche hazard are we facing at this time?

Please join us!!! January 12th, 630pm till 8pm at the Anchorage at the Alaska Avalanche School office (1025 Orca St. Unit 1N) !!

Additional details HERE.

South face sluffing - human triggered

Fireside Chat: Dec 15th in Girdwood – FREE!!

Join CNFAIC forecasters for an evening of avalanche awareness with a focus on recognizing obvious clues and companion rescue. Is your avalanche rescue gear up to snuff? Are your beacon batteries fresh and is your beacon functioning properly? What about airbags?

Please join us in Girdwood at the Powder Hound Ski Shop Dec 15th from 6:30-8pm,
210 Arlberg Ave. Additional details HERE


Bear Tooth Fundraiser with Elyse Saugstad


Hailing from Girdwood, Elyse Saugstad is a third-generation Alaskan. Elyse is a professional skier who grew up in the mountains and on the wild rivers of our state. Her passion for the outdoors and love of speed led her to become one of the best women downhill racers in the country at the age of 16, with a long list of film credits and awards to her name.

Between 2007 and 2009, she won many International Freeride competitions and was crowned Freeride World Tour Champion in 2008. Since then, Elyse has turned her focus towards filming, winning Powder Magazine’s 14th Annual Video Award’s “Best Female Performance” for her segment in Teton Gravity Research’s Co-Lab edit. Elyse was the only female to be voted int

Elyse’s presentation will include insights into her experience as one of the skiers in the 2012 Tunnel Creek Avalanche in the Cascade Mountains, an enormous tragedy within the ski community that resulted in three fatalities and drew national media attention. She will discuss and objectively analyze the decisions, both small and large, that led to the incident.

General admission: $20

Buy tickets online!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Nov. 4th, 2016 – Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop!!

Mark your calendars for Friday November 4th, 2016! This will be the 4th annual ‘SAAW’ (Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop) and we have a great line-up scheduled. Space is always limited so get your tickets today!!

NEW for this year – the afternoon session is FREE!! This session runs from 1pm-4:30pm and will focus on topics relevant to not only avalanche professionals but recreational backcountry users. 

Schedule, Registration and more details on the event website at

2016 SAAW flier

2016/17 CNFAIC Internship Program is taking applications

Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center – 2016/17 Internship Program

Avalanche Center/ Winter Recreation- Intern
Location: Glacier Ranger District,145 Forest Station Road, Girdwood, AK

Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center,

Timeframe: Minimum 2 month commitment (between December 2016 and March 2017)
This internship opportunity is open to students and aspiring snow/avalanche professionals seeking experience from a Forest Service Avalanche Center.

The application Period for CNFAIC’s Internship Program is open until JULY 22nd. Please see this link for more details if you are interested in applying! 2016/17 Internship Announcement.


Photo: 2014/15 CNFAIC Intern John Sykes analyzes the snowpack in the Kenai Mountains. This is one of many jobs performed as a CNFAIC intern!

Upper Snow Pit @ 3200'


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