Turnagain Pass RSS

ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Thu, November 16th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Fri, November 17th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

We will continue to post updates on conditions and some educational reminders for the season. Daily advisories will begin the week of Thanksgiving if there is enough snow! High pressure has dominated the region for the past week. Today there is system moving over that could produce a couple of inches of snow. There is another storm on tap for the weekend but there is uncertainty about the track and how much snow it will produce for the advisory area. Stay tuned.  

We went out on Tuesday to Turnagain Pass to take inventory of surface conditions in anticipation of getting a little snow today… and maybe some this weekend (we hope).  Variable and thin are good ways to describe the snow cover. There was grass with a couple inches of snow and surface hoar down low, melt-freeze crust starting at 1600′ with facets over the crust in places and there was very wind affected snow near and above treeline. Check out the observation  for all the details. The big take-away was that there is snow in most of the start zones and new snow may not bond well to current surface conditions.    Tuesday’s terrible skiing could be tomorrow’s weak layer!  

Special Announcements

Upcoming Events

  • TONIGHT, Nov 16th:    Beartooth – Friends of the CNFAIC Fall FUNdraiser  – Don’t miss this chance to support your  avalanche center and get inspired for the season listening to  Mark and  Janelle Smiley’s amazing  adventures!!!    
            8pm at the Beartooth Theater Pub
  • Friday, Nov 17th:    Girdwood – Friends of the CNFAIC Fall FUNdraiser  – The Smiley’s will again be presenting for the F-CNFAIC to the Girdwood crowd!! If you miss the Beartooth evening – this is your second chance to have a fun night out and support the CNFAIC!
            8pm at the  Girdwood Brewing Company

Don’t get confused – there are two showing with the Smileys:



Thu, November 16th, 2017
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
  • Announcement

We are focusing each early season update on one of the Know Before You Go’s ‘GETS’.  Today’s GET is GET THE TRAINING!  (Know Before You Go video link in case you missed it)


We really can’t express enough, how important it is to take avalanche class and practice all the skills you learn and then refresh… and practice… and take another class… and always have the mindset that there is more to know about snow. There are a variety of courses to take in Southcentral Alaska. Check out alaskaavalancheschool.com and alaskasnow.org to find one. Both providers have snowmachine specific course offerings this season. Use our Events Calender to find out when we are offering Free awareness classes and rescue workshops. We will be adding more events to this in the next few weeks. Avalanche.org is another a great resource for avalanche information and you can check out the National Avalanche Center Encyclopedia there at the bottom of the Education page. 


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 yourself if you fit the need, or pass along to someone who could benefit.  Applications due on Dec 15th.

Rob Hamel Scholarship Fund – For recreational users and professional avalanche workers.

Amy Downing Scholarship Fund – For recreational users.

Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center offers a scholarship for Mat-Su residents: Johnny Soderstrom Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Alaska Avalanche School offers scholarships as well. Applications are due November 30th: AAS Scholarships.

Please follow us on Facebook and on Instagram @chugachavy for more updates, photos, events and interesting avalanche related posts. 

Thu, November 16th, 2017

For weather information during these updates, see:

CNFAIC Weather Page

NWS Mountain Recreation Forecast  

Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
11/27/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Tincan Ridge
11/26/23 Turnagain Observation: Road report: Slide with dirt on Repeat offender
11/26/23 Turnagain Observation: Pete’s North
11/25/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan trees
11/21/23 Observation: Spokane Creek
11/20/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst
11/19/23 Turnagain Observation: Magnum – PMS Bowl
11/19/23 Other Regions Observation: Sunnyside/Penguin
11/19/23 Turnagain Observation: Eddies
11/19/23 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.