CNFAIC news and upcoming events:

Partial Government Shutdown: The USDA Forest Service avalanche centers are continuing to operate despite the partial government shutdown because of the critical public safety information they provide.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Check out our calendar page for upcoming events and course offerings from local education providers!

Don’t forget that the Know Before You Go program has recently launched their online tutorials to gear you up for your avalanche course – see those at!!

Upcoming Events hosted by CNFAIC!!

Stories from Sunburst at Powder Hound Ski Shop, Girdwood – FREE

December 18 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.  Join Heather Thamm, for an evening discussion on avalanche safety and awareness.

More details on these and other events on our Calendar page!



Apply NOW! Avalanche Education Scholarships offered through F-CNFAIC

The Friends of the CNFAIC have two scholarships dedicated to avalanche education. The funds generated to make these possible are in celebration of Rob Hamel and Amy Downing, their love and passion for the mountains, and to help others stay safe. We encourage you to read each one and apply if you fit the need, or pass along to someone who could benefit. Applications due on Dec 1st.

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

Amy Downing Scholarship Fund – For recreational users.

Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop – Nov 9, 2018

Mark your calendars for Friday November 9th when the 6th annual ‘SAAW’ (Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop) kicks off the 2019 winter season!! We have an amazing line-up scheduled for this one day workshop including, special guest speaker Scott Savage from the Sawtooth Avalanche 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 will be posted on the event website

Blackstone Glacier Avalanche Accident

It is with heavy hearts that we post this preliminary accident report for a snowmachine rider who lost their life in an avalanche on May 2nd, 2018. The avalanche occurred in the upper Blackstone Glacier. Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and riding partners at this difficult time.

If you are headed out to the backcountry this spring, please see our ‘Springtime Avalanche Tips’ on the advisory page.

Heads up – Springtime Avalanche Season is Here

Avalanche danger has increased during the last couple weeks of April due to stormy weather. Natural avalanches occurring at the high elevations are running to valley bottoms. Portage Valley has seen the majority of this activity which looks to continue into May. Keep in mind that although hiking trails may be melting out, snow covered slopes above could still be threatening them!

Check out this video report of  a natural avalanche in the Byron Glacier Valley from Saturday, April 21st.

Contribute to avalanche research!! White Heat Project is seeking your input.

White Heat Project seeks your input:
The aim of the White Heat Project is to generate new and usable knowledge on risk-taking behavior, and on factors behind decision errors in avalanche terrain in particular. The White Heat Sleds project is an extension to the previous “SkiTracks” project, and is a collaboration between a group of researchers at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in Tromsø; Montana State University, in Bozeman, USA; and Umeå University, in Umeå, Sweden. More info here:

We are asking people to complete a decision-making survey:


*Snowmachiner Links: 

       You can also submit GPX tracks of their rides to “

More information can be found here:


*Skier/Snowboarder/Climber links:

       You can also submit GPX tracks of their backcountry trips to “

       More information can be found here:




Upcoming Events: 4th annual SNOWBALL on Feb 16th – Free Beacon Practice Feb 17th

2018 Snowball

February 16 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

| $35

Support avalanche safety in Southcentral Alaska at the 2018 Snowball, benefiting Friends of the Chugach Avalanche Center and Alaska Avalanche School. Live music by the Hope Social Club, silent auction, raffle, locally brewed beer and good people. Tickets available at


Join CNFAIC forecasters for a FREE hands-on and in-the-snow avalanche beacon practice!!!

This 1.5 hour informal beacon practice is geared for all user groups. Grab your friends and join us before hitting the hills!! Great intro or refresher! 

WHERE:   Turnagain Pass (motorized parking lot) – Look for the blue CNFAIC Avalanche trailer.

We will focus on practicing with your avalanche beacon, probe and shovel. We’ll also talk and work on strategic shoveling techniques and common mistakes.

This session is open to everyone and anyone, novices and experts, who like to recreate in avalanche terrain – snowmachiners, skiers, kicker-builders, etc!! Practicing our rescue skills is a must for all of us. This will be a fun hour and a half 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. Demo gear supplied by Black Diamond.

Advisory Page Updates for 2018!

Happy New Year! Monday January 8, 2018 when you open the Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory it will look different. We are making a few changes. For a document explaining the changes click HERE, and a quick video tutorial here below.  These changes are part of a national push to have consistency between public avalanche advisories across the country and to help better define the avalanche hazard each day. Go to to look at other avalanche centers.

If you are not seeing new icons and the page doesn’t look right (icons are large, bar graphs are below them) please refresh this page and/or clean out your cache to see the changes.  Clean out your cache general link HERE.  For Google and Chrome link is HERE.


What events are happening in your neighborhood this Holiday season?

Check out our Calendar Page for upcoming events, workshops and avalanche courses. CNFAIC will be hosting several FREE evening talks on different topics along with a couple FREE avalanche rescue hands-on workshops! Also listed are professional avalanche courses by the Alaska Avalanche School and GET the GEAR and GET the TRAINING!!

If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email
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