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Tue, October 25th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Wed, October 26th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Kevin Wright
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Welcome back to winter! This is Kevin Wright with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Tuesday, October 25th. We’ve noticed that snow is flying and avalanche conditions are starting to become a problem once again. The current conditions are worth a quick discussion.

We’ve been getting ski reports over the last several weeks. The true die-hards are already finding turns around Crow Pass, Turnagain Pass, Hatcher Pass, and in Chugach State Park. If there is enough snow to ski, then there is enough snow to avalanche. The storm today is really going to accelerate the possibility of avalanches in the backcountry. Turnagain Pass has already seen more than an inch of water in the last 12 hours. Currently there is high wind and heavy rain in Girdwood and Turnagain Arm. Expect the rain/snow line to be below 1000 feet. Check out the current radar image showing the precipitation in Prince William Sound and Turnagain ARM:

A storm with this much intensity will cause the standard storm-snow avalanche problems. All the same avalanche rules apply, even in early season. We can expect natural avalanche activity to be possible while this storm continues, and human triggered avalanches will be likely. If you get out in the backcountry be sure to carry your beacon, shovel, and probe; keep your partner close; and manage your travel routes carefully.

We will be updating this advisory on an irregular basis until we have the resources to resume a daily schedule. Check back for updates and keep sending us your observations from the backcountry.

Tue, October 25th, 2011
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. Dangerous avalanche conditions. 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.
Recent Observations for Turnagain Pass
Date Region Location
11/16/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Common
11/14/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst/Magnum
11/14/23 Turnagain Observation: Seattle Ridge
11/13/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Tincan Trees
11/12/23 Turnagain Observation: Sunburst
11/12/23 Turnagain Avalanche: Goldpan – avalanche
11/11/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Common
11/11/23 Turnagain Observation: Taylor Pass – Sunburst
11/10/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan
11/10/23 Turnagain Observation: Tincan Trees
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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.