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Wed, November 22nd, 2017 - 7:00AM
Thu, November 23rd, 2017 - 7:00AM
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Happy Thanksgiving from the CNFAIC crew! Due to the continued lack of significant snow on the ground and no large storms headed our way, we will be posting our next update on Saturday, November 25th. If you do venture out into the backcountry, the snowpack in the advisory area is still very thin. The couple of inches of snow that fell on Sunday will get blown around today by the NW winds that are forecasted to be 15-30 mph with gusts into the 40s. This may form shallow winds slabs on leeward slopes. These and pockets of old wind slab have the potential to release especially in steep unsupported terrain.  Even a small avalanche could be very dangerous if it drags you through the rocks. Crow Pass is an area to be on the lookout for these wind slabs. Pay attention to cracking snow and hollow sounds indicating wind slab. We have been tracking snow depth and surface conditions in anticipation of a storm… eventually coming our way. Check out the full observation from Monday on Tincan.  Winds are forecasted to diminish this afternoon and there is a slight chance of a few flakes of snow to fall tomorrow. A cold and clear pattern returns Friday and looks to continue into the weekend. There is hope for an overall pattern change next week but there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in how that will play out. Time to get your friends and family to do a Low Pressure dance around the Thanksgiving table. Remember that is counterclockwise! Have a safe and happy holiday!

Snowpack at 2800′ on Tincan


 Looking towards Hippy Bowl on Tincan and wind drifting along the Common uptrack.


Thin snow on Magnum

Very thin descending the lower slopes of Tincan.  

Remember if you do head out there are early season hazards:

Rocks, alders, crevasses and  avalanches.  Enough snow to ride? Enough snow to slide…

Little snow. Keep it simple. Red flags present??

What to clue into:

1)  Rapid changes in weather? This includes recent or current snowfall,  wind, rain on snow and warm temperatures after a storm. One layer of snow can be a slab!  

2)  Recent avalanches  in the past 1 or 2 days?

3)  Cracking, collapsing,  whumpfing?

4) What are the  consequences  if the slope does slide? Will you go off a cliff? Into a crevasse? Over the rocks? Are there other terrain traps?  

Special Announcements

It is with very heavy hearts that we pass along the news of an avalanche fatality at Hatcher Pass on Wednesday, November 22nd. Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center is gathering information currently and going to the scene on Thanksgiving Day for an avalanche investigation. You can keep up to date at their website hpavalanche.org and their Facebook page HERE. Our deepest condolences go out to the victim’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

Hatcher Pass avalanche conditions:  If you are headed to Hatcher Pass this holiday weekend, please check their forecast at  hpavalanche.org  for avalanche information.  



The Friends of the CNFAIC have two scholarships dedicated to avalanche education for skiers, snowmachiners and all user groups. The funds generated to make these possible are in celebration of Rob Hammel 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 Hammel Scholarship Fund  – For recreational users and professional avalanche workers.  

Amy Downing Scholarship Fund  – For women recreational users.

Wed, November 22nd, 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.
Wed, November 22nd, 2017

For weather information during these updates, see:

CNFAIC Weather Page

NWS Mountain Recreation Forecast  

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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.