November 20, 2015

Early Season Update – Weekend Avalanche Outlook

Avalanche danger in Chugach State Park has increased, and will remain elevated through the weekend. 

A few inches of new snow has already fallen in the mid to lower elevations of the Anchorage area since Wednesday.  This snow was accompanied by moderate to strong wind in the alpine, predominantly from the southeast.  Reactive wind slabs may exist in some alpine areas (e.g. cross-loaded gullies and wind-loaded, leeward terrain near ridgelines).  Older, and larger persistent slabs may may also exist on isolated alpine terrain features.

6-10″ of new snow is expected from late Friday night through Saturday, accompanied by moderate southwest winds.  Reactive storm slabs are possible in some areas, primarily leeward upper elevation terrain and cross-loaded terrain features.   New snow through Saturday will further stress older wind and persistent slabs.

Expect heavy snow early Saturday, dissipating through the day.  Cloudy skies late Saturday through Sunday, with a chance for more snow late Sunday.  Weekend mountain temps are expected to be in the teens to 20s, with light to moderate wind (southwesterly).

In general, avalanche danger in the mountains of Southcentral Alaska increased late this week, and will remain elevated through the weekend.  Avalanche danger is especially high in the Hatcher Pass area and west to southwestern Talkeetnas.

For more information on statewide avalanche conditions visit