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Sat, November 10th, 2018 - 7:00AM
Sun, November 11th, 2018 - 7:00AM
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

                                         2018/2019 winter avalanche season has begun!

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 we see more snow and avalanche issues before this demanding an earlier start.  

*Early season folks:  Please send us your snow/avalanche reports so we can post them on our observation page. That 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.

Saturday Nov. 10th update:

There is a storm forecast to impact the region tonight into early next week as multiple low pressure systems and warm air associated with a moisture plume impact the area. Snow, rain and strong winds over the next few days will change the snowpack and may rapidly load any existing weak layers. It will be important to pay attention to changing avalanche conditions as the danger may rise quickly.

A small storm this past Wednesday night added 4-6 inches of snow in the mountains. This fell after a period of cold clear weather that faceted the late October snow and after a wind event that formed some stiff pockets of wind slab.  Above 2500′ there is an even more layered snowpack where rain from mid-October fell as snow in the Alpine.  We have already seen a few human triggered avalanches in the Alpine which are good reminders that a thin snowpack can still produce a slide.  Check out the observation page for more details. The most recently reported skier triggered avalanche occured Thursday on Tincan in Common Bowl.

Rain/snowline, the overall amounts of precipitation we receive and the intensity and duration of the wind with the storm over the next few days will dictate how the snowpack evolves. We will be keeping tabs on this. Unfortunately umbrellas might be crucial mountain gear as the rain may fall above 3000′ Sunday and as high as 5000′ into Monday. Think cold thoughts. #snowtosealevel

                                                      Storm clouds from the Lost Lake web cam Saturday afternoon


                                                      Skier triggered avalanche on Tincan Thursday November 8th.  


Remember to always  consider the consequences  of an avalanche, even a small wind slab can knock a person off their feet and somewhere they don’t want to go.  If you head out into the mountains 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)
Special Announcements

                                                                         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  

Sat, November 10th, 2018
Above 2,500'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
Below Treeline
Below 1,000'
0 - No Rating
Avalanche risk
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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.
Avalanche Problem 1
  • Announcement

We are focusing each early season update on one of the Know Before You Go ‘GETS’.  Today’s GET is GET THE PICTURE  (Know Before You Go video link in case you haven’t seen it)

Part of GETTING THE PICTURE and key to staying safe in the backcountry is recognizing RED FLAGS. Ask yourself: Have I seen any signs of recent avalanche activity on the drive to the trail head? Have I seen any as I travel in the backcountry? Have I heard any whumphing when I step off my sled or when I am skinning or skiing? Is the snow sending out shooting cracks from my skis or in front of my machine? Is the weather changing? Is it snowing rapidly? Raining heavily? Is there a rapid rise in temperature? All these clues are saying “YOU COULD TRIGGER AN AVALANCHE TODAY”. Many avalanche accidents can be attributed to people missing clues that indicate that the snowpack is unstable. Check out this lesson on Red Flags from Avalanche.org: avalanche.org/avalanche-tutorial/red-flags

GETTING THE PICTURE also includes being able to identify avalanche terrain. Here is a quick refresher on that topic: avalanche.org/avalanche-tutorial/avalanche-terrain


Sat, November 10th, 2018

For weather information during these updates, see:

CNFAIC Weather Page

NWS Mountain Recreation Forecast  

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.