Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Forecaster:   Wendy Wagner  
Tuesday, November 24th 2015
Created: Nov 24th 17:46 pm
0 NO RATING Alpine / Above 2,500'
0 NO RATING Treeline / 1,000'-2,500'
0 NO RATING Below Treeline / Below 1,000'
 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
Special Announcement

We will begin issuing daily avalanche advisories for Turnagain Pass on Thanksgiving Day.

Avalanche conditions OUTSIDE our forecast zone:
Hatcher Pass continues to have very dangerous avalanche conditions. The Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center is recommending that people do NOT travel in avalanche terrain. More at

*The Hatcher Pass road remains closed at this time at the Gold Mint parking lot and a skier is reported missing in the area. See ADN article for developing information.

BE AWARE, if you are headed North of Anchorage (such as Petersville or Cantwell) recent snowfall has likely created DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS IN MANY AREAS. This is the week to be extra conservative, play in the flats and avoid all slopes over 30 degrees and their runouts. Additional snow and rain through Thanksgiving Day will further destabilize the snowpack.

The Bottom Line

Avalache conditions in the Turnagain Pass area are expected to increase tomorrow and throughout Thanksgiving Day. This is in response to rain, snow and wind in the forecast. With this in mind, tomorrow (Wednesday), may be a good day to write your 'black friday' list and avoid the rain at Turnagain. Check back in at 7am on Thanksgiving morning for our first avalanche bulletin!

Primary Concern

I know...the dreaded 'wet avalanche' infographic... The snow/rain line, as of Tuesday evening, sits around 1800' and looks to climb as high as 2,600' by tomorrow. However, the rain has yet to begin, only the warm temperatures have set in. Rain is forecast to start falling late tonight with the heaviest period being tomorrow night. This rain-on-snow setup should begin to initiate a wet avalanche cycle at the mid-elevations (Below 3,000') sometime tomorrow or tomorrow night. 

Secondary Concern

At the upper elvations, above 2,500', moist storm snow should begin to fall tomorrow and Thursday. We should see roughly 8-12" by Thanksgiving with strong Easterly winds. As the snow piles up, we could see steep slopes avalanche naturally. In this case, human triggered avalanches will be likely. 

Once again, check back in for Thursday morning's bulletin.

Additional Concern

Glide cracks are likely to widen with the warm weather and some of these may release and avalanche. Watch for, and avoid being under, cracks if you are thinking of heading to the Tincan Trees.

Below is a classic glide crack in the Tincan area:

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: Nov 22, 2015 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Closed
Placer River: Closed
Skookum Drainage: Closed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedBuilding our base - 20" so far! Reference the DOT Turnagain Pass RWIS web cam for current image of Turnagain pass snowstake.
Twentymile: Closed
Seward District
Carter Lake: Closed
Lost Lake Trail: Closed
Primrose Trail: Closed
Resurrection Pass Trail: Closed
Snug Harbor: Closed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Closed
Summit Lake: Closed

Subscribe to the Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory:

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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