Turnagain Pass opened to snowmachines in late December, but high avalanche conditions persisted into the start of the New Year, with the Chugiak National Forest Avalanche Information Center warning of moderate to high avalanche conditions as January began.
According to the center, snow in December created a large slab layer of above a four-inch layer of weaker facets. As of the second week of January, Placer River, Skookum Drainage and Twentymile were still closed, with rangers checking snow conditions on a daily basis.
A large snow storm predicted to hit many areas southern Alaska didn’t produce as much snow as predicted, with most areas of the state saying snow was better than last year, but still below average. Other Southcentral areas that opened at the end of December were Johnson Pass in the Chugach’s Glacier District and Carter Lake, Snug Harbor, South Fork Snow River and Summit Lake.
Other major snowmachine destinations in Southcentral such as Petersville in the northern Susitna drainage and the Caribou Hills on the Kenai Peninsula reported mediocre but rideable conditions through the first week of the year.
Check riding conditions and up-to-date open/closed areas at cnfaic.org or call the snow and avalanche hotline, 754-2369.
Juneau Snowmobile Club members rescue hikers during December snowstorm Next Post:
Snow biking: ‘It’s own weird thing’