Avalanche danger still considerable in Turnagain Pass as plows need space to dig out

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Avalanche danger in the mountains around Turnagain Pass is still considerable, a slight step lower than Thursday’s threat, but the Forest Service and DOT have asked those recreating in the area to avoid the parking areas so they can clear the 4 feet of snow that fell during the storm. Read the advisory here.

“Parking on the road and riding around the motorized lot will prevent plow operators from being able to clear these lots and delay the process through a busy holiday period,” a notice on the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center page reads. The page says those wanting to ride in Turnagain Pass should consider heading south of Summit Lake, where parking is not an issue.

The avalanche warning says danger is “considerable” at all elevations, with the possibility of triggering 2, 3 or 4-foot slabs. “Today’s message is simple,” the page wrote Friday. “Let this storm settle and give plow drivers time and space to clear parking areas.”

The Alaska Avalanche Information Center warns of dangerous conditions at Hatcher Pass, where it says numerous large avalanches have been reported over the last few days. Wind gusts have picked up some of the more than 2-feet of snow and moved it into leeward terrain, burying weak layers that have caused natural avalanches in steeper, 35-degree-or-steeper terrain.

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