HATCHER PASS, Alaska (KTUU) - About a third of the way done with October, snow should be descending upon Anchorage any day now. From the Anchorage bowl, residents can see termination dust forming on the Chugach Mountains, foreshadowing the winter ahead.
Up in Hatcher Pass it’s a different story. More than 26 inches has fallen there from about Oct. 8-10 according to the National Weather Service. With the giant flakes hitting the mountain, Alaskans eager to get some snow came out to get in it.
Along the way there, Channel 2 reporters spoke with lots of people getting out their skis and sleds who were ebullient about getting their out on the snow.
Rachel Hartman from Willow said people who are born and raised in Alaska appreciate all the seasons, but winter is essentially part of who they are.
“Doesn’t matter, I love it,” she said, “Don’t get me wrong, a true Alaskan complains about the weather regardless of what the weather actually is, but it doesn’t really matter. It just is.”
The roads are almost completely clear on Hatcher Pass until you get to Independence Bowl Parking Lot. There’s snow packed on the embankment from the plows already, but there’s also a lot of slush on the parking lots, as the temperatures linger just south of freezing
There weren’t any complaints about cold or snow from the people we spoke with on the pass. In fact, most people were going out of their way to get out in it.
Kay and Vern Cordell from Wasilla enjoyed a short hike on Thursday. The only regret they had was not bringing a pair of skis.
“It’s on time,” said Kay Cordell about the timing of the snow hitting the pass, “It might be a little wet but it’s a good base.”
There was a lot of snow falling in the early afternoon Thursday. Jacob Pennell brought his skis, but had to stay at lower elevations because of the limited visibility. This is the first good ski he’s gotten in this year.
“Last weekend it was kind of a crusty, thinner layer, and now it’s kind of the better softer stuff coming in,” Pennell said, “So yeah! Hopefully it sticks.”
Most everyone we spoke with was just out having fun. Although they did offer some good tips on the upcoming long winter.
If you’re new to the state, people from Alaska recommend things like dressing in layers, getting good tires for the winter, keeping emergency supplies and jumper cables in the car, and other things like that.
Above all, people like Hartman say the most important thing to do when it starts snowing is make the most of it.
“Have fun. Enjoy it,” she said, “The more you stay inside and talk about how horrible it is, that’s exactly what you’re gonna get out of it.”
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