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Sun, November 20th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Mon, November 21st, 2011 - 7:00AM
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Good morning. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Sunday, November 20th at 7am. This will serve as 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).


The avalanche danger is generally LOW with pockets of MODERATE for fresh wind slabs and new snow sluffing. These concerns are most likely on steep slopes above tree line in locations that receive a few inches or more of new snow. Pockets of MODERATE danger also exist for glide avalanches on slopes with recent glide activity.


Today we should see a few inches of new snow in the Girdwood, Turnagain Pass and Summit Lake areas. At the upper elevations, winds are strong enough to form fresh wind pockets and small slabs in any new snow accumulating through the day. Areas most prone to wind slab avalanches will have a hard old layer underneath providing a slick bed surface for these to run on. Additionally, in locations lucky enough to receive several inches of snow, watch for fast running sluffs on slopes with a firm old surface.

The glide avalanche problem remains a wild card. It seems the cycle is beginning to abate but is not finished. Savvy travel in areas with glide activity and yawing glide cracks should continue. These areas are ‘ok’ most of the time, but when they’re not, they’re not. Exposure around and under any suspicious areas should be limited.


A low developing in the western Gulf of Alaska has shifted the flow easterly and warmed temperatures into the double digits overnight at most locations. Winds have been moderate from the east, gusting around 25mph on the Ridgelines. No snow has been reported by 6am but should start to fall later this morning. Accumulations are expected to be minimal, 1-3 inches, though possibly more in favored locations. Temperatures will be in the teens today but again drop to the single digits Monday. Skies will remain cloudy and winds are expected to be around 20-30mph on the ridgelines from the east.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast


A reminder that all areas for winter snowmachine riding in Chugach National Forest remain closed. Keep checking this website for the latest updates.

We are in the season of Fireside Chats, free avalanche awareness talks from your local avalanche center. Show up on Wednesday nights at 7pm at the Forest Service Ranger Station in Girdwood. More details are on our training and calendar page.

I will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry give us a call at 754-2369 or send us your observations using the button at the top of this page. Thanks and have a great day.

Sun, November 20th, 2011
Above 2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
1 - Low
2 - Moderate
3 - Considerable
4 - High
5 - Extreme
Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk
Travel Advice Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential. Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
Likelihood of Avalanches Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible. Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely. Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely. Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
Avalanche Size and Distribution Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain. Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas. Very large avalanches in many areas.
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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.