Late October Update: It’s been a warm start to our winter over in the Turnagain Pass region. While Hatcher Pass has been reaping the early season snow (as is common and don’t forget to check hpavalanche.org and their Facebook page), Turnagain has been left in the dust. Images below tell the picture. A thin wet snow cover begins around 2,500′ and dry snow not till around 4,000′. Wet snow and glide avalanches have been occurring in the high country with a close call last weekend along the Devil’s Creek Trail in the Kenai Mountains. A group hiked the trail to Devil’s Pass Cabin, spent the night and saw the debris on the hike out the next day. This is a good reminder that avalanches occurring in terrain above you can funnel down gullies and send debris into snow free areas and hit summer hiking trails.
New Website: Many of you may have noticed our website has a new look. We are very excited about our new platform and its easy mobile friendly attributes!! However, with this comes a chance for bugs. We’ve already seen a few already and working to fix them (like the folks on the email list who received some old forecasts yesterday). If you see something, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your patience.
Avalanche Center Operations: Doors have opened at the Avalanche Center and we will begin issuing intermittent snow and avalanche updates as conditions warrant. Daily avalanche forecasts are planned to begin during Thanksgiving week – unless abundant November snowfall demands an earlier start.
Getting into the mountains? Please send us your snow/avalanche reports so we can post them on our observation page! Simply click ‘submit observation’ under the Observation tab. This is a huge benefit for the community and our forecasters.
*Keep tabs on early season conditions and events on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.*
Gearing up Checklist: have you made sure your avalanche rescue gear is in order?
- Does your shovel and probe assemble properly, any parts rusted and/or worn out?
- Does your beacon have fresh batteries? Any corrosion in the terminals?
- Does your beacon function properly? Does it pick up another beacon and vice versa?
- Have you checked out the upcoming avalanche courses in your area!
- Take 15 minutes and refresh with the popular Know Before You Go movie!
Debris covering Devil’s Creek Trail and spilling into Devil’s Pass Lake in the Kenai Mountians. No persons involved, but a hiking party saw the debris on their hike out from the Devil’s Pass Cabin after traveling the trail free of debris the day prior.
Wider view of avalanche debris running over Devil’s Creek Trail and into Devil’s Pass Lake.
APU’s Mountain Weather class at 2,100′ on Tincan last Sunday, Oct 27. It was raining at this elevation that day and currently no snow exists.
Sunburst’s North face along the prominent ‘Elevator Shaft’ couloir in the middle is looking quite thin. Photo taken Oct 29.
Tincan Proper and Hippy Bowl seen from the high point along Center Ridge. Photo taken Oct 29.
Despite little snow, a glide avalanche can be seen on the popular Tenderfoot Ridge in the Summit Lake area. Photo taken Oct 29 by Alex McLain.
Mark your calendars: EVENTS ARE APPROACHING QUICKLY!!
Thursday, Nov 7: Snowmachine film fundraiser -“WHITE GOLD”
7-9pm, 49th State Brewing Co. Theater, $20
Sled Winter Kickoff Party! Join us for Thirsty Thursday and the premiere of 208 Productions’ NEW film “WHITE GOLD”. Tickets on sale at Alaska Mining and Diving Supply, A2D Motorsports, Anchorage Yahama/Polaris. Or purchase them online at https://chugachavy.brownpapertickets.com
Friday, November 8: Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop (SAAW)
9am-4:30pm, UAA’s Lucy Cuddy Hall, $20 (afternoon session if FREE)
Alaska’s Southcentral avalanche community will team up with snow professionals from around the region, Colorado and Canada to share their knowledge. This is a ‘must attend’ event for avalanche professionals and an excellent way for recreational backcountry users to delve into advanced topics. Full schedule and registration at akavalancheworkshop.org
Thursday, Nov 14: Snow Stories 2.0
8-10pm, Beartooth Theater, $20
Please join us in getting stoked to stay safe as emcee Brooke Edwards hosts an exceptional line of up lessons learned in the backcountry by storytellers: Roman Dial, Leighan Falley, Paul Thacker. Tickets available at the Beartooth website and box office.