Turnagain Pass RSS

ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Mon, November 13th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Tue, November 14th, 2017 - 7:00AM
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

As we enter into November, high pressure resides over Alaska. Many of us are wondering if the icons on our smart phones will ever say snow? It seems ‘sunny’, ‘partly sunny’, ‘ cloudy’, etc keep popping up – anything but snow… Until then, the CNFAIC will be issuing intermittent updates. Daily avalanche advisories are planned to begin Thanksgiving week – but if snow eludes us, it will likely be later when conditions warrant. In the meantime, do your snow dances and cross your fingers!

Current conditions on Turnagain Pass – Sunburst Ridge

To break-in the season, we are focusing each update on one of the Know Before You Go’s ‘GETS’.    Today’s GET is  GET THE FORECAST!    (Know Before You Go video link  in case you missed it last week)

Up here in Alaska there are many areas that do not have an avalanche forecast. But there are some areas that do – Turnagain Pass, Hatcher Pass and Thompson Pass all have avalanche forecasts. Before heading out, know if there is a forecast for the place you are going and check it! A map for the CNFAIC Turnagain Pass forecast area is on the home page of this website. Other avalanche forecasts can be found at these links:  Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center  and the  Valdez Avalanche Center. Keep in mind, avalanche danger can  vary widely from one place to the next, it is not safe to extrapolate danger ratings to areas outside the forecast zones.

If you have read this far, you’re probably familiar with the North American Danger Scale – or at least the 5 colors associated with the ‘danger rating’.  What do they all mean and how do avalanche forecasters come up with the danger each day? Here is a great reminder of this by our friends at the National Avalanche Center:


With all the fine print in the danger scale, what column is most important? The  TRAVEL ADVICE. This is your best tool when planning your outing for the day.    

Have you ever wondered what danger rating most avalanche fatalities occur?  These fatal days are often the first day or two after a storm when skies clear but the snowpack has not yet adjusted to the new snow load. As the season unfolds, don’t forget this very important rule of thumb.


Special Announcements

Upcoming Events:

Don’t get confused – there are two showing with the Smileys:



AVALANCHE EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS. The Friends of the CNFAIC have two scholarships dedicated to avalanche education. The funds generated to make these possible are in celebration of Rob and Amy, their love and passion for the mountains, and to help others stay safe. We encourage you to read each one and apply yourself if you fit the need, or pass along to someone who could benefit.    Applications due on Dec 15th.

Rob Hamel Scholarship Fund  – For recreational users and professional avalanche workers.

Amy Downing Scholarship Fund  – For recreational users.

Mon, November 13th, 2017
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.