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A Day with the Chugach Avalanche Center

March 1st, 2011

The staff at the Chugach Avalanche Center has seen 100% turnover in two months. Yesterday I joined the new crew in the office and in the field.¬†We planned to visit Palmer Creek near Hope, the site of a full burial the week before. The victim was able to dig out of the soft snow, although I’m sure he did some heavy thinking in those ten seconds during the avalanche.

On the long drive to Hope we saw countless avalanches, many of them skier-triggered. The snowpack is unusually touchy this winter after a freezing rain event in November followed by three weeks of cold and clear. The high pressure is still around, skies are clear and some powder is about, but I think we’ll go adventure ice skating (50-mile lake linkups) until things stabilize…

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