Welcome to the 2017-18 snow season!

This project began as the Anchorage Avalanche Center, but is in the process of expanding.  This is our sixth season of providing a grassroots, volunteer based avalanche information and education program for Chugach State Park.  However, its sustainability is up to you!  If you value this resource: volunteer, donate, and encourage others to support it.

Make sure to follow our social media (Instragram and Facebook) for the latest updates (it’s often more efficient to update than the website).

Advisories: avalanche danger updates and weekend avalanche outlooks

Observations: recreational conditions in the greater Anchorage area

Education: statewide learning opportunities and online resources for getting “avy savvy”

Anchorage Backcountry Center mission:

  1. Enhance the safety, awareness, and enjoyment of visitors to Anchorage’s backyard mountain playground (Chugach State Park).
  2. Promote public lands, sustainable outdoor recreation, ecological consciousness, and environmentally responsible behavior.
  3. Contribute to Alaskan backcountry/mountain culture.

Anchorage Backcountry Center vision:

  1. Comprehensive outdoor information and education for Chugach State Park.
  2. An Anchorage citizenry that recognizes the immeasurable value of its public land resources, engages in sustainable outdoor recreation for individual and collective wellness, works towards improved sustainability in all domains of life through environmentally responsible behavior, and possesses an imminently necessary ecological consciousness.
  3. An inclusive, supportive, and diverse Alaskan backcountry/mountain culture.

Values & Philosophy

Diversity, equity, community, innovation, consciousness, respect, excellence, and FUN.

The fate of the human species is dependent on changing the way we live on this planet.  Modern civilization has distanced humanity from its evolutionary heritage in the natural world.  Outdoor recreation is a primary means of reconnecting individuals and communities to this heritage.  However, outdoor recreation culture has historically been limited in terms of its socioeconomic reach; it has been dominated by affluence and ethnic homogeneity.  A primary goal of the Anchorage Backcountry Center is to expand the socioeconomic reach of outdoor recreation.

SoFoCloseCallClose call: three people were caught and carried by this avalanche just above the South Fork Eagle River trailhead (photo by Suzie Mauro, edited by AAC).

ISSW accidents poster 1

As a grassroots and beyond volunteer project (i.e. volunteers that provide this programming not only donate countless hours of their time, but also fund this project from their own pockets) to provide a snow season safety and information program for Chugach State Park, we do not have funding and resources comparable to the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC) – or even Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center (HPAC).  If you would like to see us do more (and continue to exist in the future), please donate your time or money and solicit support from others for this project.

As many, or more, avalanche fatalities have occurred in Chugach State Park as have occurred in the mountains where information is provided by the CNFAIC and HPAC.  Plus, Chugach State Park hosts Alaska’s most readily accessible avalanche terrain – and definitely the avalanche terrain that is accessed by the most unwitting users given its proximity to Alaska’s largest population center (the accident history attests to this: learn more here).  We need your help to make this program a sustainable reality for future snow seasons!  Read about the project and its roots here.

Please consider soliciting support from government representatives, the Department of Natural Resources (Alaska State Parks and Chugach State Park), and local businesses and organizations relevant to snow-season backcountry recreation.  Your help is imperative for the development of a sustainable program

We are seeking input from those interested in, or concerned with, the project to provide a sustainable backcountry snow safety program for Chugach State Park.  For more details, read the document linked here.  Questions and comments can be sent to info@anchorageavalanchecenter.org

Know Before You Go!

White Heat Tracks Project seeks your input:
The aim of the White Heat Project is to generate new and usable knowledge on risk-taking behavior, and on factors behind decision errors in avalanche terrain in particular. The White Heat Tracks project is an extension to the previous “SkiTracks” project, and is a collaboration between a group of researchers at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in Tromsø; Montana State University, in Bozeman, USA; and Umeå University, in Umeå, Sweden. We are asking people to complete a decision-making survey: (click here) and if they have time and energy, also submit GPX tracks of their backcountry trips to “tracks@montana.edu.”  Click here for more information, and here.