Turnagain Pass 20 years later. Swing by the motorized lot on March 23rd!!

Turnagain Pass 20 years later:
Meet the forecasters, bring your GEAR, bring your questions!

On Saturday, March 23rd from 12-2pm swing by the Turnagain Pass motorized parking lot and meet the CNFAIC avalanche forecasters, bring and test your avalanche rescue gear, ask questions and learn about the history of Turnagain Pass and the avalanche center. We’ll even have a few beacons buried so you can test your skills before heading into the hills!

Twenty years ago, on March 21st, 1999, six snowmachiners lost their lives in a large avalanche on Seattle Ridge in the heart of Turnagain Pass. In the wake of this tragic event, the US Forest Service’s Glacier Ranger Station formed an avalanche information center, which is now the CNFAIC. Please join us in commemorating the lives lost by taking a few minutes to talk avalanche awareness and check that your rescue gear is in order. 

Upcoming events:

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.

If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email
© 2019 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
If you think a public avalanche
center is important then we urge
you to become a member & donate.