Heavy snow, avalanche danger nearly compromise Boy Scout trip

TURNAGAIN PASS, Alaska (KTUU) — Each Spring break, the Boy Scouts of Troop 186 in Anchorage camp out at Turnagain Pass in a snow cave, but with heavy snow and high winds dumping several feet of snow in the area this week, their annual outing was nearly compromised.

"Last night we were looking at the weather and they expected anywhere from a foot to a foot-and-a-half of snow, so we thought about changing spots," Joel Napoleon said. "But then we were like, 'Nope, let's get here, let's see what it's like doing it.'"

When Napoleon and the scouts arrived at Turnagain Pass, the area they usually park at was covered in several feet of snow. With more snow and high winds in the forecasts, parking in a pull off and hiking into the back country wasn't an option.

"They were a little bummed because we almost had to cancel it. We almost had to go back somewhere towards Anchorage where there isn't enough snow," Napoleon said. "But then we saw that snow blower drive by and I went up and asked him, 'Do you mind just plowing out 50 feet for us to we can have our adventure?' and he said 'Sure, not a problem.'"

The machine cleared off part of a parking lot large enough for Napoleon to park his truck safely away from the road.

"We normally go back a little further, but with the snow conditions, the State of Alaska would not allow us to go back there further for safety reasons. They didn't want us to get stuck back there," Napoleon said.

Napoleon says his main concern is if another road clearing machine comes by, it could block the group in, but he says since they're scouts, they're prepared.