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Thu, November 24th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Fri, November 25th, 2011 - 7:00AM
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving. This is Wendy Wagner with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Thursday, November 24th at 7am. This will serve as 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).


Turnagain Pass will be closed today to winter motorized use but will open tomorrow, Friday, from Ingram Creek to Bertha Campground. Johnson Pass, Placer and 20 mile will remain closed due to lack of adequate snow coverage. Overall depth at Turnagain is adequate yet marginal, riders should be aware of exposed natural hazards consistent with early season riding.


Pockets of MODERATE danger exist on upper elevation steep wind deposited slopes for triggering a fresh wind slab from expected moderate winds today. Also, there are pockets of MODERATE danger in this same terrain for triggering a lingering wind slab formed in the past two days. CNFAIC Staffwise, there is a generally LOW avalanche danger away from steep upper elevation extreme terrain. In addition, glide avalanches remain a concern; steer clear of yawning glide cracks.


The new snow that fell on Tuesday has stuck in place fairly well and has seen minimal wind damage. With today’s expected easterly winds gusting into the 20’s, accompanied with the chance for a few more inches, enough snow and wind are available to form shallow soft wind slabs and pockets. Encountering fresh wind deposited snow will likely be sensitive and crack out from your feet. These are most likely to be found and triggered in exposed extreme terrain.

The glide avalanche problem continues to deserve mention. Limit your time under, or next to, yawning glide cracks and old glide avalanches. This may mean adjusting your route slightly or where you decide to have your Thanksgiving snack.

As always, including generally low danger days, remember to keep good travel practices in mind. This includes, one person on a slope at a time, watch your partner and be careful not to ski/ride above CNFAIC Staffs. Also, it just takes a second to do a beacon check with your partners as you head out from the parking lot.


Under mostly cloudy skies this morning, there is a slight inversion as temperatures below 2000′ are around 5F and those around 3500′ are around 10F. Winds have been light from the east, gusting only around 10mph overnight. Today, the low pressure in the gulf continues to spill moisture our way. Intermittent snow showers could add up to an inch or three throughout the day. Skies look to be mostly cloudy and temperatures climb into the mid-teens at most locations. Winds are expected to be moderate, gusting to 20-25mph, on the ridgelines.

CNFAIC Weather Page and the NWS forecast

Kevin will issue the next advisory tomorrow, November 25th, at 7am. If you get out in the backcountry we want to know what you are seeing. Please send us your observations using the button at the top of this page or give us a call at 754-236. Thanks and have a great day.

Thu, November 24th, 2011
Above 2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
1 - Low
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.
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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.