The never-quite-winter of 2014-15

With a continued thin snowpack, generally non-existent below 2500′, the Anchorage Avalanche Center will only be providing sporadic updates as warranted by conditions (when the avalanche danger is increasing and/or elevated).  Quality observations have been hard to compile this season considering the lack of snow and difficult travel conditions.  If and when conditions improve, observations and advisory updates will be more regular.

For skiers and riders, please be aware that hazards associated with a thin snowpack like exposed rocks and vegetation are widespread.  The thin snowpack this season, in general, is also extremely weak and expected to be more susceptible to avalanching than “normal.”  Any loading or stress-inducing event (wind, rain, snow, warm temps) will increase the danger.  Expect the danger to remain elevated for an extended period of time.

Please continue to check the “advisory” and “observations” tabs above for the latest updates.

  • The Anchorage Avalanche Center concluded its second season of avalanche advisories and professional observations for the most frequently visited avalanche terrain of Chugach State Park with its April 26-27, 2014 weekend avalanche outlook.  The Anchorage Avalanche Center provided advisories for 58 days and professional observations for 42 days during the 2013-14 season.  The Anchorage Avalanche Center provided an avalanche outlook for every weekend from December 13, 2013 to April 27, 2014 plus additional advisories-outlooks and observations as much as possible and as conditions dictated due to increasing danger.  If you find this avalanche information program valuable and would like to see it continue for seasons to come, please make a tax-deductible donation to help the Anchorage Avalanche Center achieve sustainability.

Support your local grassroots avalanche center!

Despite close proximity to the state’s most densely populated region, heavy wintertime use, rapidly increasing recreation in avalanche terrain in recent years, and 16 avalanche related fatalities in the past few decades, Chugach State Park (CSP) lacked an organized avalanche information program prior to the development of the grassroots Anchorage Avalanche Center (provided through a partnership with the non-profit Alaska Avalanche Information Center).  CSP’s most popular, and Alaska’s most readily accessible, avalanche terrain of the Front Range and Eagle River areas comprise the Anchorage Avalanche Center’s core advisory zones.

Anchorage Avalanche Center mission: to increase the safety, awareness, and recreational enjoyment of winter backcountry enthusiasts visiting the avalanche terrain of Anchorage’s backyard mountain playground (Chugach State Park) through an avalanche advisory program, forum for public snow-avalanche observations, and winter backcountry education. 

Anchorage Avalanche Center vision: comprehensive avalanche information and education for backcountry recreation in Chugach State Park.

ISSW accidents poster 1
Learn more about the Anchorage Avalanche Center effort:

Piloting a backcountry avalanche advisory program for Alaska’s most readily accessible avalanche terrain: The Front Range and Eagle River area Chugach (eight page overview presented at the 2014 International Snow Science Workshop)

Piloting an avalanche advisory program for public recreation in the Front Range and Eagle River Area Chugach Mountains: Strategy, challenges, and viability (88 page full report)