Avalanche danger high, backcountry travel not recommended

Avalanche danger is high in the Chugach
Avalanche danger is high in the Chugach(ktuu)
Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 12:54 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Recent heavy snow, rain, and strong winds have caused areas of unstable snow and created a dangerous avalanche threat in the western Chugach and Kenai Mountains including areas around Girdwood, Turnagain Pass, Summit Lake, Lost Lake, and Seward. A Backcountry Avalanche Warning is in place until 6 a.m. Jan. 11, 2021. The Avalanche Warning does not apply to ski areas or highways where avalanche reduction measures are performed.

According to the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, it is “very likely a human could trigger an avalanche 3-5 feet deep, and that it is likely we will see large natural avalanches as well.” They say, “travel in and below avalanche terrain is not recommended today.”

The mountains near Seward and Lost Lake have already seen several feet of snow this past week and more snow and rain are expected today, according to CNFAIC. They also say that hiking trails used during the summer such as the Byron Glacier Trail pass through avalanche paths are dangerous.

According to the CNFAIC site skiers triggered “storm slab avalanches just over a foot deep on steep rollover on Notch Mtn.” on Saturday.

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