Turnagain Pass RSS

ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Sun, November 2nd, 2014 - 7:00AM
Mon, November 3rd, 2014 - 7:00AM
Wendy Wagner
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

It’s SNOWING!!  Or at least trying to snow. Since Halloween night Turnagain Pass has picked up around 5″ of new snow at the SNOTEL site (1880′ elev.) for a total depth of 10″. At the road the Pass has seen 2-3″ of wet snow. Mid-mountain at Alyeska picked up around 6″ since Halloween with a total depth close to a foot. As for how much more we will get out of this system – it’s uncertain – possibly another 2-6″ today into Monday.

We will be posting intermittent updates during the first half of November. Advisories will begin in mid-November.

Below is the AK DOT snow stake at the RWIS weather station on Turnagain Pass. This is a new webcam that takes many different images including looking up at Seattle, Tincan, Eddies ridgelines and more. The link to the main RWIS site at the PASS is HERE. Bookmark it!!

Only a few inches of wet/crusty snow near the road on Turnagain Pass (early morning Nov 2nd).

Early Season Reminders:

As the saying goes: “If there is enough snow to ride, there is enough snow to slide“. What qualifies as ‘enough snow’ is likely quite different for many of us but nonetheless, it’s time to start thinking about avalanches.

Things to watch for if you are headed out into the backcountry:

  • New snow avalanches. These can come in the form of wind slabs where the wind has loaded leeward aspects, soft slab avalanches in areas out of the wind and loose snow avalanches (sluffs).
  • Watch for poor bonding between the new snow and old snow – amplifying the avalanche concerns stated above. More specifically, the new snow is falling on 6-10″ of older October snow at the upper elevations. This older snow was reported to be quite weak and faceted in many areas during the last days of October and can provide a weak foundation for the new snow.
  • Send us a photo or two and let us know what you are seeing!!   You can do that  HERE  or by clicking the €˜submit an observation’ tab on the menu bar. For example: How much snow? Has the wind distributed it? Help us begin to map out the snowpack!

Now is THE time to start checking your avalanche RESCUE gear.  

  • Do you have fresh batteries for your beacon? Are the battery terminals clean or corroded?
  • Is the cable in your probe still strong or is it frayed and ready to break upon assembly?
  • Is your shovel solid? (Last season, after 9 years, my tried-and-true shovel finally began to weaken and bend where the handle meets the blade €¦no good.)
  • Air bag? Is it assembled properly and your canister filled?
  • Last but not least, do you have a plan for practicing with your gear? Take some time away from battling alders and rocks and bury a few beacons for your friends (aka potential lifesaving partners)!!

Upcoming Events:

November 7th:    Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop. A gathering of snow professionals for a day of learning, presentation, discussion and networking. All are welcome! See  akavalancheworkshop.org  for more details.

November 8th – 10th:    Alaska Winter Weather Forecasting Course. An  amazing, and intense, mountain weather course taught by a former Alaska avalanche forecaster and current mountain meteorologist Jim Woodmencey!    http://alaskaavalanche.com/  

November 13th:    Woohoo! Join the Friends of the CNFAIC and forecasters for our  6th Annual CNFAIC Fundraiser  featuring Luc Mehl! Details  HERE.

November 18th:  FREE  Avalanche Awareness talk at REI  – 6:00-7:30pm

November 20th:    Winter Project World Premiere!! Bear Tooth Theather and Pub.

What’s going on with the weather?

General weather:  HERE  
Developmental Eastern Turnagain Arm Forecast:  HERE  (Bookmark this page if you have not done so already)
What it looks like up at Turnagain Pass:  AKDOT’s webcams!
Treeline snow depth on Center Ridge:    SNOTEL site  (as of Friday Oct. 24th there is 6 inches of settled snow from Oct. 20th’s 12 inches).


Sun, November 2nd, 2014
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
Riding Areas

The riding areas page has moved. Please click here & update your bookmarks.

Subscribe to Turnagain Pass
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.