WELCOME to the 2020/2021 Winter Season!!
The mountains are getting whiter and that means the CNFAIC is getting ready for another fantastic winter season! The Avalanche Center will begin issuing intermittent snow, weather and avalanche updates as conditions warrant through mid-November. Daily avalanche forecasts are planned to begin during Thanksgiving weekend – pending an unseasonable chilly fall, which might demand an earlier start.
*Don’t forget to keep tabs on current events/information on Facebook and Instagram!!*
Early season avalanches happen and have already started at Hatcher Pass. Yesterday, several human triggered avalanches occurred in this area after a foot a new snow fell on Monday (10/26) – please see HPAC’s update at hpavalanche.org. South of Anchorage, in our forecast zone of Girdwood and Turnagain Pass, only a mere 4-6″ fell at the mid and upper elevations. This was on top of 0 – 5″ of existing snow. Generally, snow cover is still very thin to nonexistent. The exception is upper Girdwood Valley and Crow Pass where likely enough snow exists to slide.
A very shallow snowpack with rocks protruding can give us a false sense of security. As we embark on this season, let’s remember to be aware and prepared. Returning to the parking lot and our family and friends is #1.
Summer Trails: Crow Pass trail head signage pictured above. Many summer trails travel through avalanche terrain. Even if the trail itself is snow-free, avalanches occurring above can send debris over them threatening hikers. If traveling on summer trails, keep close tabs on what is above you! A close call occurred this time last year on the Devil’s Creek Trail on the Kenai.
Send us your observations! Early season snow enthusiasts, please send us your snow/avalanche reports so we can post them on our observation page. Simply click ‘Submit Observation’ under the observation tab above. This is a huge benefit for the community and our forecasters.
Is your RESCUE GEAR in order??
This is a great time to make sure your avalanche rescue gear is in order. This means:
– Your shovel and probe assemble properly and no parts are rusted and/or worn out.
– Your beacon has fresh batteries and your terminals are not corroded.
– Brush up on how to use your avalanche beacon – turn it on, does it pick up another beacon properly and vice versa?
– And, don’t forget to check out the upcoming avalanche courses in your area!
Mark your calendars: EVENTS APPROACHING QUICKLY!!
Friday, November 6:
Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop (SAAW)
2pm – 5pm, VIRTUAL. Join us for the 8th annual SAAW. Alaska’s Southcentral avalanche community is again teaming up with snow professionals from around the region and Canada to share their knowledge. Cost is $15 for the live online Zoom session. A recorded version will be available after the event to view free of charge. Full schedule and registration at akavalancheworkshop.org.
Thursday, Nov 19:
Snow Stories III – VIRTUAL!
7-9pm, Details COMING SOON
December 1, 15, 29 and January 14:
CNFAIC Forecaster Chat Series – VIRTUAL!
Time: 7-8pm, Cost: FREE
Forecasters will hold a series of online chats. These will begin with a recap of last season, an outlook for the coming year, and move into an in depth discussion on the various avalanche problems and how they impact the Turnagain Pass region.