Turnagain Pass RSS

ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Tue, November 13th, 2018 - 7:00AM
Wed, November 14th, 2018 - 7:00AM
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line
  • The CNFAIC will be issuing  intermittent snow and avalanche updates  as conditions warrant through mid-November.  
  • Daily avalanche forecasts are planned to begin on Thanksgiving weekend  – unless cooler storms bring enough snow to increase avalanche concerns before then.  

*Early season folks:  Please send us your snow/avalanche reports so we can post them on our observation page. Thank you to all those who have  submitted  already! Simply click ‘submit observation’ under the Observation tab above. This is a huge benefit for the community and our forecasters.  Make sure to  like us on Facebook  and  follow us on Instagram  for our most up to date information.

Tuesday Nov. 13th update:

The dreaded Pineapple Express rolled through Southcentral Alaska Sunday and Monday (Nov 11/12)… This not only brought heavy rain to 3, 4 and even 5,000 feet, but 10 inches of it to the Portage Valley area (Bear Valley RWIS)! If it was only in the frozen form… That said, the 1-2 feet of snow that existed around treeline has been degraded to patches of mush and bare ground. Many wet avalanches occurred during the storm in the higher elevations, taking what snow there was available down the mountainsides.  

For this week, mild temperatures and clearer skies are forecast through Thursday with another shot of rain/snow on Friday night into the weekend. It’s still too early to say, but models are showing this weekend’s system bringing a rain/snow mix for road levels and possibly 6 inches to treeline and above. Check back for Saturday morning’s update   €“  in the meantime think cold thoughts!

Wet point release avalanches in the Carter Lake area on the Kenai (photo taken Nov 12: Seth Wells). Note the thiness of the snowpack and the slides taking all the snow in the path with them.

Webcam views from Tues, Nov 13th. Left – looking North through Jr’s Bowl/2nd Bowl toward Girdwood from Seattle Ridge weather station. Right – Tincan from the Turnagain Pass RWIS station.  

Photos from Nov 13th from the upper reaches of Girdwood valley, snow has been left at low-tide after yesterday’s rain (Will Brennen).



If you head out into the mountains to higher elevations harboring colder snow, be on the look out for Red Flag warnings:

  1. Recent avalanches
  2. Cracks in the snow that shoot out from you
  3. Whumpfing (collapsing) of the snowpack
  4. Rapid changes in weather (snow/rain/wind/temperature)
Special Announcements

                                                                         Mark your calendars:   EVENTS ARE APPROACHING QUICKLY!


Thursday, Nov 15th:  Beartooth CNFAIC Fall Fundraiser:    Hope for Snow!

8 – 11pm, Beartooth Theater Pub & Grill.    A slightly different format this year with short stories and live music. SNOW STORIES by  Wendy Wagner,  Roman Dial and  Blaine Smith.  Live Music by  HOPE SOCIAL CLUB!

Tickets are $20 and are available at the  Beartooth website and box office.  


Wednesday, Nov 21st:  Snowmachine throwback film fundraiser –  “2 Stroke Cold Smoke”!

7 – 10pm, 49th State Brewing Co Anchorage. Kick off the riding season, connect with CNFAIC and learn about snowmachine specific avalanche awareness/course opportunities with a ‘throwback film’ night!!    

$20 tickets are available  HERE  and at  Alaska Mining and Diving Supplies,  A2D Motorsports and  Anchorage Yamaha Polaris  

Tue, November 13th, 2018
Above 2,500'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
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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 ‘GETS’.  Today’s GET is GET OUT OF HARMS WAY  (check out the Know Before You Go video link in case you haven’t seen it).

Part of GETTING OUT OF HARMS WAY is knowing the terrain we are in, how we are approaching that terrain, where people in our group are and ways to minimize bad outcomes in the event an avalanche occurs. Read the points below. These are ways we stack the odds in our favor!


Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
12/02/23 Turnagain Observation: Seattle Ridge
12/02/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan South Side
12/02/23 Turnagain Observation: Eddies up track
12/01/23 Avalanche: Sunburst
12/01/23 Turnagain Observation: Eddie’s trees
12/01/23 Turnagain Observation: Turnagain – God’s Country
11/30/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Tincan Trees
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
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Avalanche Forecast by Email

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.