Happy Halloween and WELCOME to the 2018/2019 winter season!!
The winter has started with our first snowfall to sea level followed by cold and clear weather. The Oct. 29th storm left 8″ in Girdwood and 5-8″ along the Seward Hwy through Turnagain Pass, favoring the Northern side. We estimate 10-12″ at higher elevations in Turnagain Pass. On Oct. 30th we received our first report of a remote triggered avalanche in the Crow Pass zone. This wind slab reportedly released on buried surface hoar and was 8-14″ thick and 60′ wide. Luckily no one was caught. This is a good reminder early season avalanches can happen in a very shallow snowpack. A big thank you to the two parties who sent in observations from Crow Pass. Click HERE for more details.
Remote triggered avalanche on Crow Pass on 10/30/18. Photos courtesy of Zack Barrett
After a long summer break, the CNFAIC is getting ready for another fantastic winter! Doors have opened at the Avalanche Center and we will be issuing intermittent snow and avalanche updates as conditions warrant through mid-November. Daily avalanche forecasts are planned to begin during Thanksgiving weekend – unless we are blessed with abundant early season snowfall demanding an earlier start.
Early season folks: 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. A few folks have been up to Hatcher Pass sliding on the snow; see the most recent reports HERE. Make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for our most up to date information.
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.
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 ARE APPROACHING QUICKLY!
Friday November 9th
6th Annual Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Workshop
9am – 4:30pm, Alaska Pacific University’s Atwood Bldg. Join us for the 6th annual SAAW. Alaska’s Southcentral avalanche community will team up with snow professionals from around the region, Southeast Alaska and Idaho to share knowledge and stories. This is a ‘must attend’ event for avalanche professionals and an excellent way for recreational backcountry users to delve into advanced avalanche topics!
Pre-registration closes on Thursday, November 8th at 6pm. After that, you can get tickets for $20 at the door between 8:30 and 9am. Lunch, coffee, snacks and a post workshop ‘beer social’ is included. Full schedule and registration HERE.
Thursday, Nov 15th
Beartooth CNFAIC Fall Fundraiser: Hope for Snow!
8 – 11pm, Beartooth Theater Pub & Grill. A slightly different format this year with short stories and live music. SNOW STORIES by:
· Wendy Wagner
· Roman Dial
· Blaine Smith
Live Music by HOPE SOCIAL CLUB!
Tickets are $20 and will be available starting Oct. 23 at the Beartooth website and box office.
Wednesday, Nov 21st
Snowmachine throwback film fundraiser – “2 Stroke Cold Smoke”!
7 – 10pm, 49th State Brewing Co Anchorage. Kick off the riding season, connect with CNFAIC and learn about snowmachine specific avalanche awareness/course opportunities with a ‘throwback film’ night!!
$20 tickets available soon online and at local snowmachine dealerships. More details coming soon!
Sastrugi from recent winds in Crow Pass. Photo courtesy Heather Johnson. Click HERE to read her observation
Turnagain Pass following recent snowfall. More photos from 10/30/18 and road observation can be found HERE.