Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Wednesday, April 10th 2013 6:45 am by Kevin Wright
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

Several inches of light dry snow covers the surface in most areas of our region.  The areas we covered yesterday did not show signs of avalanche potential besides minor sluffing of the dry surface snow.  

Watch for areas with older stiff wind slab that may have formed over the weekend.  A few more inches of cold snow may fall today, but with only minimal wind expected it should not contribute to the avalanche potential.  

Recent snowfall has brought more snow to the Anchorage area, so don't expect to find deeper powder by driving south.

 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.
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.
Avalanche Problem 1

Sluffing was easy to initiate yesterday with the ultra dry layer on the surface.  Steeper confined terrain like chutes and couloirs could likely entrain enough volume to knock someone off their feet.  

From the avalanche perspective, loose snow is a manageable concern.  Use the terrain to let the sluff fall away and to the side of your line, stop periodically to allow it to pass, or keep enough speed to stay in front of it.  

Avalanche Problem 2

Wind appeared to be strongest overnight through the channeled terrain of Turnagain Arm.  Sunburst station showed relatively little wind.  In those areas that saw gusting into the 20s we may have wind slab at higher elevations.  The dry nature of the recent snowfall makes that snow easy to pick up and move around by the wind.  Many of the weather stations showed a northwest wind direction, meaning that south and east facing slopes are most likely to have wind slabs.  

Besides the surface snow, the underlying bed surface may contribute to the problems.  Southerly faces and anything that got sun exposure in the last week will have a thick crust under the new snow.  That crust may contribute to poor bonding of other layers and complicate the issues.  

Mountain Weather

Temperatures dropped overnight, with ridgetop temperatures near 0 degrees or colder in some areas.  Sea level is in the mid teens, and we will see some daytime increase.  

A small amount of snow is in the forecast and some areas got a few inches overnight.  Expect any snow to be very light and dry.  

Northwest wind will stay minimal, less that 10mph.

Fitz will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, April 11th.


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: Mar 16, 2019 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Open
Placer River: OpenVery wet. Travel not recommended until a re-freeze.
Skookum Drainage: OpenNote: The Skookum drainage closes to snowmachines on April 1 annually as per the Chugach NF Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: OpenVery wet. Travel not recommended until a re-freeze.
Seward District
Carter Lake: Open
Lost Lake Trail: OpenPlease stay on trail to avoid resource damage through forested areas.
Primrose Trail: OpenPlease stay on trail to avoid resource damage through forested areas.
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed for the 2018/19 season. Next season will be open to motorized use.
Snug Harbor: Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Open
Summit Lake: Open

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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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