Avalanche warning issued for Hatcher Pass Monday and Tuesday
Following this past weekend's snow and wind, the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center (HPAC) has issued a backcountry avalanche warning.
The avalanche hazard is high Monday and Tuesday for upper elevations, considerable at mid elevations and moderate at low elevation. The HPAC is not advising travel in avalanche terrain.
Human-triggered slides are most often the danger in the backcountry.
During a high danger level, however, that changes. Human-triggered avalanches are still a serious danger, but there is the added danger of natural avalanches, or avalanches that occur without influence from a person. This makes avalanche terrain exceptionally dangerous.
In addition to the avalanche danger in Hatcher Pass, there is also low visibility. That means safe travel in and around avalanche terrain will be exceptionally difficult.
The Turnagain Arm area is also facing avalanche danger this Presidents Day.
Recent snowfall and wind loading prompted the considerable avalanche danger.
"Human triggered slab avalanches 1 - 2 feet thick are likely on slopes 35 degrees and steeper, especially in wind loaded terrain." the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC) says.
Small to large human-triggered slab avalanches are likely on slopes steeper than 35 degrees.
Early Monday morning, observers noted cracking and small test slopes being easily triggered.
Snow cornices, masses of snow deposited by the wind and often overhanging a ridge, should also be avoided in the area.
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