January 16, 2018

Issued Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 12:45pm:

Expect avalanche danger to remain elevated through at least Wednesday due to relatively warm temperatures (above freezing to ~4000′ in some locations), extreme wind, and precipitation (rain even in some areas above treeline).

This seems to be the worst season in memory in regard to Chugach State Park snow-based winter recreation.  We are still not issuing regular informational products (observations and weekend advisories) due to lack of snow; there still is not sufficient coverage and depth for reasonable backcountry travel by ski.

If you are going out, it’s recommended to take beater boards and take it easy in order to avoid gear damage and/or bodily injury from thin snowpack hazards (rocks, exposed vegetation, variable snow).  Also, the thin snowpack in Chugach State Park is generally exhibiting low strength, poor structure, and high energy: an ideal recipe for avalanche accidents.  Avalanche terrain should be approached with extreme caution.