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ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Thu, April 28th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Fri, April 29th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Good afternoon backcountry travelers. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Thursday, April 28th at 6pm. We are no longer issuing daily avalanche advisories for 2010-2011 season however, this does not mean that the avalanche season is finished. See below for an update for the Turnagain Arm area (this does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).


Turnagain Pass will close to motorized use after April 30th.

This will be the final update for the 2010-2011 season.


The message right now is simple:

Avalanche conditions are currently unpredictable and dangerous. Stay out of, and out from under, steep snow covered slopes.

The spring melt-down, or ‘shed cycle’, has begun.

The snowpack is prime for NATURAL wet slab avalanches and easily initiated HUMAN TRIGGERED avalanches. Widespread wet slabs are beginning to release on their own and at various times of the day. These have been seen on all aspects and mostly below 3500′ in elevation. However, the elevation should creep up as this cycle continues over the next few days and into early May.

Many savvy folks and avalanche experts are staying away from the mountains for the next week or so as the snowpack adjusts to the springtime thaw. The majority of avalanches seen recently are large and unsurvivable. A little patience is warranted until we stop seeing these large wet slides.

A few more photos HERE and HERE.

For those getting out hiking, know what type of terrain you are near, under and whether there is snow above you. These wet snow avalanches have the potential to run to valley floors and cover hiking trails.


For all things weather see the CNFAIC weather page!

Thank you for checking the avalanche advisories this season. Have a great spring and summer!

Thu, April 28th, 2011
Above 2,500'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
1 - Low
2 - Moderate
3 - Considerable
4 - High
5 - Extreme
Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk
Travel Advice Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Dangerous avalanche conditions. Dangerous avalanche conditions. Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
Likelihood of Avalanches Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible. Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely. Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely. Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
Avalanche Size and Distribution Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain. Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas. Very large avalanches in many areas.
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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.