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ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Wed, November 5th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Thu, November 6th, 2014 - 7:00AM
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

We will be posting intermittent updates during the first half of November. Advisories will begin in mid-November or as the snowpack warrants.

There is just enough snow to get out and scratch around on skis/boards or snowshoes (still a ways away from enough snow for motorized use). A handful of folks were out on the Tincan and Sunburst ridges yesterday. Reports on snow cover were: 1-2+ feet of wind distributed low density snow above treeline and 8-12″ of a mix of crusts and low density snow below treeline. Check out these photos sent in to us from a skier on Sunburst and a few photos from the road HERE.

Special Announcements

Upcoming Events!!

November 7th:    Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop. A gathering of snow professionals for a day of learning, presentation, discussion and networking. All are welcome! See  akavalancheworkshop.org  for more details.

November 8th – 10th:    Alaska Winter Weather Forecasting Course. An  amazing, and intense, mountain weather course taught by a former Alaska avalanche forecaster and current mountain meteorologist Jim Woodmencey!    http://alaskaavalanche.com/  

November 13th:    Woohoo! Join the Friends of the CNFAIC and forecasters for our  6th Annual CNFAIC Fundraiser  featuring Luc Mehl! Details  HERE.

November 18th:  FREE  Avalanche Awareness talk at REI  – 6:00-7:30pm

November 20th:    Winter Project World Premiere!! Bear Tooth Theater and Pub.

Wed, November 5th, 2014
Above 2,500'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
0 - No Rating
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.
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Storm Slabs
    Storm Slabs
Storm Slabs
Storm Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer (a slab) of new snow that breaks within new snow or on the old snow surface. Storm-slabs typically last between a few hours and few days (following snowfall). Storm-slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
More info at Avalanche.org

As we head into a stormy next several days and weekend, below are some things to watch for:

  • New snow avalanches! There is plenty of snow out there to be wary of and ruin your day. In the event we receive new snow and wind watch for natural avalanches as well as human triggered slides. These can come in the form of:
  • Watch for poor bonding between any new snow and the old weak snow from October and early November.


Know where you are:

Steer clear of being under steep slopes or in terrain traps. Many folks have been getting out in the Crow Pass area – this is a CLASSIC terrain trap and the trail often traverses a large avalanche path. Sadly, in late November of 1997, this was the site of an avalanche fatality.  It’s avalanche season – heads up, don’t let it catch you off guard !!


Avalanche Problem 2
  • Glide Avalanches
    Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches
Glide Avalanches are the release of the entire snow cover as a result of gliding over the ground. Glide avalanches can be composed of wet, moist, or almost entirely dry snow. They typically occur in very specific paths, where the slope is steep enough and the ground surface is relatively smooth. They are often proceeded by full depth cracks (glide cracks), though the time between the appearance of a crack and an avalanche can vary between seconds and months. Glide avalanches are unlikely to be triggered by a person, are nearly impossible to forecast, and thus pose a hazard that is extremely difficult to manage.
More info at Avalanche.org

Glide avalanches?!  There may only be 1-2′ of snow on the ground but that is enough for the NW nose of Eddies to start producing glide cracks. These are mostly small, yet some look to have released. Always steer clear of, and out from under, glide cracks. Also, keep a close eye on any new snow that may hide cracks as our snowpack slowly piles up.

Glide cracks on Eddies (A bit hard to see in the photo).

Wed, November 5th, 2014

Today, Wednesday, a disturbance in the Northern Gulf has the potential to bring 2-3+” of snow to above treeline elevations and rain/snow below. Winds look to be in the 20-30mph range from the East.  

Friday through the weekend, an upper level low in the Gulf along with the remnants of super typhoon Nuri will impact Eastern Turnagain Arm with hopefully another shot of snow to start our season. Stay tuned!

Weather Links?

General weather:  HERE  
Developmental Eastern Turnagain Arm Forecast:  HERE  (Bookmark this page if you have not done so already)
What it looks like up at Turnagain Pass:  AKDOT’s webcams!
Treeline snow depth on Center Ridge:    SNOTEL site.


Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
05/13/24 Turnagain Observation: Eddie’s, Sunburst, Seattle, Cornbiscuit, Pete’s South
05/13/24 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain Pass non-motorized side
05/12/24 Turnagain Observation: Warm up Bowl
05/07/24 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain Pass Wet Slabs
04/29/24 Turnagain Avalanche: Turnagain aerial obs
04/27/24 Turnagain Observation: Johnson Pass
04/23/24 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain Sunny Side
04/21/24 Turnagain Observation: Bertha Creek
04/20/24 Turnagain Avalanche: Spokane Creek
04/16/24 Turnagain Observation: Cornbiscuit
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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.