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ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Mon, November 9th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Tue, November 10th, 2015 - 7:00AM
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Update for Tuesday, November 10th, 2015:

If you are headed North to Hatcher Pass PLEASE see hatcherpassavalanchecenter.org. Hatcher Pass received upwards of 18″ of snow between Sunday night and Monday night. The avalanche danger is high in this region.

*Note: the Independence Mine snotel station was struck by lightning this summer and the data is suspect. The snow stake accessed from the F-CNFAIC Marmot weather station is working well.

Update for Monday, November 9th, 2015:

Our second winter storm for November moved through our region last night, Sunday Nov 8. Snowfall amounts were modest, but it’s snow! Ridgetop winds associated with the storm were strong, in the order of 25-30mph with gusts up to 50mph from the East. Both snowfall and wind have decreased dramatically this morning. Snowfall totals at mid elevations:

Turnagain Pass (2,000′):   5-6″
Girdwood Valley (1,700′):   6-7″
Summit Lake (1,400′):   3-5″
Glen Alps (2,000′):  3-4″
Hatcher Pass (3,400′):   4-5″

A reminder that we will be issuing intermittent updates for another couple weeks. Advisories with danger ratings will begin around Thanksgiving week.

If you are getting out in the mountains things to watch for are:

1)  Recent Avalanches
2)  Collapsing (“whoomphing”)
3)  Shooting cracks from your skis/board (often in areas with stiff wind drifted snow)
4)  Warming of the snow surface (by warm weather or sun)

All of the above indicate an unstable snowpack and the potential for a person to trigger an avalanche. Areas where avalanche potential has increased will be where more than 5-6″ of snow has fallen and/or where the wind has loaded slopes. Also, don’t be fooled by the thin snow cover as it does not take much snow to cause a dangerous slide.

LAST WEEKEND’S snow stability recap below:

Snow stability over the weekend was good at the usual haunts around Turnagain Pass (Tincan, Sunburst, Seattle Ridge). We had no reports of avalanche activity or unstable snow. However, other areas around Southcentral were not so fortunate:

*Two human triggered avalanches occurred OUTSIDE of our forecast zone last weekend:

Anchorage Front Range, Saturday:   Close call with a climber triggered avalanche on O’Malley Peak. This was a small(ish) avalanche with very high consequences as it ran over extremely steep terrain below. Photo of this slide below and see link for the report.


Hatcher Pass, Friday:   Partial burial with a skier triggered slab avalanche on Hatch Peak. See link for a photo and additional Hatcher Pass information.

Special Announcements

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the F-CNFAIC Fall FUNdraiser at the Bear Tooth – Thursday Nov 12th !! This event sells out fast – details HERE.

This year we have Greg Hill presenting: Mountain Lessons. Come journey with Greg Hill as he goes through his past adventures. The lessons learned in his successful 2 million feet in a year, the rules he honed to stay safe throughout that adventure. A near miss in the Himalayas, during the 2012 Manaslu disaster, and most recently a misadventure in Pakistan.

See you Thursday!

Mon, November 9th, 2015
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.
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Date Region Location
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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.