58 avalanche chutes

Posted: Monday, April 03, 2000

Walking the beach around one Thane avalanche and over the remains of a still larger avalanche to get to town Tuesday morning, I thought about the 58 avalanche chutes along the proposed road route north from Juneau.

Driving home after midnight Monday morning and learning that the avalanche fell at 3 a.m., I thought again about the safety of the proposed Juneau to Skagway road. Living out Thane the last half year and in Haines for most of the last quarter century, I've learned this is steep and wet country.

Snow maintenance along Haines roads is often very slow due to lack of funds. Avalanche maintenance in Juneau can be slow too. The operators cleaning up the Thane avalanches were great, but it took nearly two days to remove two avalanches from the road.

Fifty-eight avalanche chutes?

Katya Kirsch

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