February 22, 2017

Avalanche Danger Update

Issued Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 11:15pm:

The National Weather Service in Anchorage has issued a winter weather advisory for Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

Several inches of new snow and increasing winds are expected.  Avalanche danger will increase accordingly.

Expect dangerous conditions to develop: natural avalanches possible, human triggered avalanches likely.

In addition to the new snow, several inches of recent snow from earlier this week is readily available for wind loadingWind slab and persistent slab problems exist.  Loose snow “sluffing” from steep terrain is likely.  Cornice falls are another hazard.

Checkout the recent advisories and observations to get a better picture of the situation.

Natural avalanches triggered in the upper elevations have the potential to run into lower elevation, even flat, terrain.  Many popular trails in Chugach State Park cross dangerous avalanche paths (e.g. Powerline, O’Malley Gully, Falls Creek, Rabbit Creek, South Fork Eagle River, Penguin Ridge, Iditarod-Crow Pass).  A basic level of avalanche awareness, such as that gained through a free or low-cost class, will help you be able to identify problem areas.

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