Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Tuesday, November 13th 2018 14:00 pm by CNFAIC Staff
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Previous Forecast
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)

 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
0 NO RATING Alpine / Above 2,500'
0 NO RATING Treeline / 1,000'-2,500'
0 NO RATING Below Treeline / Below 1,000'
Special Announcement

                                                                        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 

Avalanche Problem 1

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!


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).

Winter snowmachine use open/closed status and riding conditions updates

Riding status is not associated with avalanche danger. An area will be open to motorized use in accordance to the Forest Management Plan when snow coverage is adequate to protect underlying vegetation. Backcountry hazards including avalanche hazard are always present regardless of the open status of motorized use areas.

(Updated: May 06, 2018 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: ClosedClosed as of April 20th
Placer River: ClosedClosed as of April 17th
Skookum Drainage: ClosedClosed as of April 1st.
Turnagain Pass: ClosedClosed as of May 7th. Happy summer, see ya when the snow flies!
Twentymile: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Seward District
Carter Lake: ClosedClosed as of 4/27
Lost Lake Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Primrose Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Resurrection Pass Trail: ClosedClosed as of April 20th
Snug Harbor: ClosedClosed as of 4/27
South Fork Snow River Corridor: ClosedClosed as of April 13th
Summit Lake: ClosedClosed as of April 20th

Subscribe to the Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory:

The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory provided by the Chugach National Forest, in partnership with Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email
© 2018 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.