Avalanche season underway, a warning for those headed into the backcountry

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Winter has arrived in full force to Southcentral Alaska, and while it’s still early in the season, experts are warning that avalanche season is already very much underway.


Even though snow totals are mostly low even in the backcountry, avalanches are still possible. In fact, several minor avalanches have been reported in Hatcher Pass and the Chugach Mountains in recent weeks. Currently, avalanche danger for the Hatcher Pass area is considered “considerable” at elevations above 2,500 feet.

As more Alaskans begin heading to the backcountry to recreate, experts are urging people not to underestimate the conditions.

Avalanche danger could also rise in the coming days, as the skies are expected to clear and winds are expected to pick up. The increased winds could cause the loose unconsolidated snowfall from this weekend to form dangerous “wind slabs” which are highly susceptible to producing avalanches.

For more information on avalanche conditions, visit the following Avalanche centers:

Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center
Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center
Alaska Avalanche Center
Anchorage Avalanche Center

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