Turnagain Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Sat, November 14th, 2020 - 7:00AM
Sun, November 15th, 2020 - 7:00AM
Conditions Summary

Sat, November 14th, 2020
With snow starting in the late afternoon yesterday the mountains picked up 1-2″ of light, fluffy snow overnight.  Temperatures are dropping as cooler air is moving into the region. There is a slight chance of snow today and a clearing skies and sunshine on tap for Sunday into the coming week. Winds should remain light for the next few days.

With improving visibility, fresh snow and early season stoke this weekend, it is important to remember that there is now plenty of snow to slide and known weak layer of old October snow. Observers from Girdwood to Summit Lake are consistently hearing and feeling whumpfs and finding a poor snowpack structure above 2200′. It’s worth being suspect of steep slopes moving forward as skies clear and travel in the Alpine becomes easier. Ease into terrain, look for signs of instability, and use good travel protocol.

Persistent Slab avalanches:  Weak October snow is sitting under a slab formed by the 1-3′ of snow from the last two storms. This current snowpack structure has the potential to be triggered by the weight of a skier or rider and cause an avalanche releasing in the facets (sugar snow) at the bottom of the snowpack. This structure becomes a concern around 2,200′ – the higher in elevation you travel the more likely it will be to encounter this issue. Whumpfing and/or cracking are signs this layer is reactive. Snow covered slopes with a 30° slope angle and steeper are suspect. If an avalanche releases near the ground it could result in a very dangerous slide. 

Snowpack structure at 2800′ in Main Bowl/1st Bowl on the backside of Seattle Ridge. Our Extended Column Test propagated at 13 taps on the facets (sugar snow) above the crust. 11.13.20 

Close up of the 2mm facets above the crust.

For link to video click HERE.

***If you are heading to Hatcher Pass please check hpavalanche.org  for the Saturday morning forecast and follow their Facebook page.

Avalanche Center Operations:  We will continue to provide conditions updates and are planning on issuing the first forecast around Thanksgiving.

Getting into the mountains? Please send us your snow/avalanche reports so we can post them on our observation page! Simply click ‘submit observation’ under the Observation tab. This is a huge benefit for the community and our forecasters.

*Keep tabs on early season conditions and events on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.*


Thursday, Nov 19:

The 3rd annual fundraiser will have an amazing line up of storytellers on the virtual stage. Watch Cody Townsend, Elyse Saugstad, Ian McIntosh, Israel Hale and Kathy Still share their personal stories on snow. Anticipate a wild evening of lessons learned, adventure and camaraderie. Expect to laugh, cry and maybe learn something new.

All proceeds made from ticket sales go to funding the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC) operations.

Cost: 20$. For Zoom tickets register on HERE.

December 1, 15, 29 and January 14:

CNFAIC Forecaster Chat Series – VIRTUAL!
 7-8pm, Cost: FREE
Forecasters will hold a series of online chats. These will begin with a recap of last season, an outlook for the coming year, and move into an in depth discussion on the various avalanche problems and how they impact the Turnagain Pass region. These are great opportunity to ask questions about specific avalanche conditions and decision-making.

Thanks to our sponsors!
Sat, November 14th, 2020
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Riding Areas
Updated Thu, April 01st, 2021

Status of riding areas across the Chugach NF is managed by the Glacier and Seward Ranger Districts, not avalanche center staff. Riding area information is posted as a public service to our users and updated based on snow depth and snow density to prevent resource damage at trailhead locations. Riding area questions contact: mailroom_r10_chugach@fs.fed.us

Area Status Weather & Riding Conditions
Glacier District
Johnson Pass
No parking in turnaround at end of the road near the outhouse.
Placer River
Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Skookum Drainage
The Skookum Valley is closed to snowmachines. This closure occurs annually on April 1 as per the CNF Forest Plan.
Turnagain Pass
Please do not ride along Railroad tracks. Cross tracks at 90 degree angle and clear the right of way.
Seward District
Carter Lake
Lost Lake Trail
Primrose Trail
Resurrection Pass Trail
Closed for the 2020/21 winter season.
Snug Harbor
South Fork Snow River Corridor
Summit Lake

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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.