Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Thursday, November 9th 2017 6:38 am by CNFAIC Staff
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

As we wait for enough snow to fall to warrant full avalanche advisories we are going to continue to provide updates and some educational reminders for the season. Get in the habit of monitoring our observation page HERE for Turnagain Pass info. This observation page also houses reports from other areas along with 'mirrored' observations for Hatcher Pass. We love getting observations! Please keep them coming if you are an early season backcountry user.

The theme for today is GET THE GEAR! Know Before You Go 

Investing in avalanche rescue gear is an investment in your life and your backcountry partner's life. If your gear is old (analog beacon) or you are new to winter backcountry travel we recomend the following when purchasing or upgrading your rescue equipment. 

-Triple Antenna Beacon with multiple-burial marking 

-Aluminum Probe at least 270cm long (Alaska has a deep snowpack)

-Aluminum Shovel made by a manufacturer who specializes is avalanche rescue equipment (retire your old plastic shovels or those bought at WalMart/etc - they will likely break when you need them most)

An Avalanche Air Bag is an additional piece of safety equipment that does not replace the three essentials above, but has proven to reduce the likelihood of a full-burial. An airbag will not help you find your buried buddy.

***The BEST avalanche rescue equipment is the gear you practice with often. A three-day Level 1 avalanche course provides one full day of avalanche rescue training and is highly recommended for all backcountry users. Remember these skills are perishable and practicing avalanche rescue once a month with your regular backcountry partners is something we should all strive for. Check out the Alaska Avalanche School and AAIC's Education page for upcoming course offerings. 

 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
0 NO RATING Alpine / Above 2,500'
0 NO RATING Treeline / 1,000'-2,500'
0 NO RATING Below Treeline / Below 1,000'
Special Announcement

Upcoming Events:

Don't get confused - there are two showing with the Smileys:



AVALANCHE EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS. The Friends of the CNFAIC have two scholarships dedicated to avalanche education. The funds generated to make them possible are in celebration of Rob and Amy, their love and passion for the mountains, and to help others stay safe. We encourage you to read each one and apply yourself if you fit the need, or pass along to someone who could benefit.  Applications due on Dec 15th.

Rob Hamel Scholarship Fund - For recreational users and professional avalanche workers.

Amy Downing Scholarship Fund - For recreational users.


Avalanche Problem 1

Curious of the current conditions out at Turnagain Pass? Photos below from Wednesday Nov 8th. Only a few folks have been out scratching around in the hills. There is enough snow to ride in certain places where the winds have blown the snow in. There have been no reports of early season human triggered avalanches at Turnagain, but there was a report of a large collapse in the Common Bowl area of Tincan. Steep slopes have some old debris from natural small avalanches earlier in October, such as the North Chutes on Tincan.

Right now however, the cold clear weather is eating away (faceting) what little snow there is and you are likely to find loose sugar snow and crusts if headed out. Winds have also been moving the snow around in exposed zones, likely forming stiff wind slabs. A week of high pressure sits in front of us, yet there looks to be a chance for snow next weekend. Cross your fingers!

Tincan Ridge and Common Bowl


Seattle Ridge - view from the motorized lot


Eddies Ridge



Mountain Weather

For weather information during these updates, see:

CNFAIC Weather Page

NWS Mountain Recreation Forecast 

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: Dec 01, 2018 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: ClosedClosed
Placer River: ClosedClosed
Skookum Drainage: ClosedClosed
Turnagain Pass: ClosedClosed November 21 due to inadequate snow conditions. #hopeforsnow
Twentymile: ClosedClosed
Seward District
Carter Lake: ClosedClosed
Lost Lake Trail: ClosedClosed
Primrose Trail: ClosedClosed
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed for the 2018/19 season. Next season will be open to motorized use.
Snug Harbor: ClosedClosed
South Fork Snow River Corridor: ClosedClosed
Summit Lake: ClosedClosed

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
© 2018 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.