Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop – Friday, Nov 3rd!!

Register now for Friday November 3rd’s 5th annual ‘SAAW’ (Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop)!! We have an amazing line-up scheduled, special guest Ethan Greene from Colorado Avalanche Information Center!

REMEMBER – 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. 

Full schedule, Registration and more details are posted on the event website

2018 Internship Program application is up – Deadline July 23rd!

The CNFAIC is accepting applications for next season’s Internship Program! Please see the requirements and how to apply below (pdf of the application can also be found HERE).


Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center 2018 Internship Program

  • Application period closes July 23rd, 2017

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

Timeframe: Minimum 10 week commitment (between December 2017 and March 2018)

Objective: This internship opportunity is open to students and aspiring snow/avalanche professionals seeking experience from a Forest Service Avalanche Center.

Requirements: Must have at least AAA certified Level 2 avalanche education (or equivalent). Be able to ski and/or snowmachine in steep mountainous terrain and enjoy working in rugged winter conditions. Have a current WFR, OEC (or equivalent) medial skills and competent rescue skills. Be able to enthusiastically shovel large amounts of Chugach Powder – and not be afraid of rain. Have a professional goal towards snow science, avalanche forecasting or associated fields. Operating snowmachines is required and previous experience off-trail mountain riding is a plus!

Benefits/Compensation: Housing in Girdwood (if desired) and a stipend of $30/day worked. Housing is available at the Glacier Ranger District bunkhouse. The intern will gain experience working with an established USFS Avalanche Center and the opportunity to learn daily operations of avalanche forecasting. Additionally, he/she may be involved in public outreach and education events as well as learning winter recreation management operations. A college student may be able to receive credit for this internship.

Expectations: Intern must participate as a field partner, join in weekly stability meetings and share in other CNFAIC/Winter Recreation duties. Completion of an internship project is required. This is a self-tailored task culminating with a written paper or article by the end of the internship (i.e., snow/weather research, education/outreach, CNFAIC projects).

To apply: Send a cover letter and resume to Wendy Wagner ( Cover letter should include pertinent background information, reason of interest, what skills/knowledge you hope to gain and how this program can help you attain your future goals.
Wendy Wagner (Director, CNFAIC)
P.O. Box 129
Girdwood, AK 99587

Sunshine and Springtime – AND – Dangerous Avalanche Conditions

Spring has rolled into the mountains with warm weather, sunshine and some stormy days in between. Although winter has come to a close and the CNFAIC has stopped issuing advisories, 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 – through May. Be aware, these can release naturally or be easily triggered on steep slopes that are wet and saturated. Furthermore, stormy weather will bring storm snow avalanches.


Please see our Springtime Avalanche Tips on the Advisory Page for ways to stay safe in avalanche terrain!!


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!

If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email
© 2018 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
If you think a public avalanche
center is important then we urge
you to become a member & donate.