Quick weekend update (report on conditions):
Avalanche danger remains elevated at Hatcher Pass and in Chugach State Park.
Watch for reactive wind slabs in the upper elevations of the Front Range and Chugach State Park. Climbers take heed: steep snow is NOT expected to be stable this weekend.
The ice is forming up nicely with the cold temps of late. Still not enough snow for good downhill skiing.
Fat biking around Anchorage is generally great, and new Chugach State Park trails are now open to bikes (check out this article for more on new trail openings: http://www.adn.com/…/chugach-state-park-opens-trails-winter…).
Still seems too thin for quality nordic skiing, unless you’re driving north to the Hatcher area (trail conditions link: http://www.crosscountryalaska.org/trails/).
There is enough snow for fun, quality skiing at Hatcher, but the avalanche situation is spooky. A high avalanche danger warning was issued Tuesday and Wednesday of this week for the area. Visit www.hatcherpassavalanchecenter.org for the latest.
Conditions at Turnagain Pass are disappointing. Still not much snow, and no consistent base. Lots of rock, tundra, etc. Small reactive wind slabs observed on steep, leeward, upper elevation terrain. On the bright side, skiing to and from the road is possible (at least via the Tincan and Sunburst lots) and avalanche danger isn’t as bad as at Hatcher and Chugach State Park. Visit www.CNFAIC.org for the latest Girdwood – Turnagain Pass avalanche update.
A beautiful, sunny weekend is expected. Get outside and enjoy your backcountry!