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Latest snow poses avalanche danger

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2001

The Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center says this is a good weekend to stay inbounds at Eaglecrest Ski Area and carry a beacon, probes and shovel. And backcountry travelers should carefully observe the terrain and snow conditions for the threat of snowslides.

At the top of Eaglecrest the snowpack is 75 inches deep, the nonprofit avalanche awareness and safety center said Saturday afternoon. The bottom third of the pack is mostly a solid base. But the middle third is unstable "sugar" covered by a frozen crust. The most recent snows sit atop the crust.

Eaglecrest clears away some of the snow with explosives, and some snowslides have occurred naturally in the Juneau area. But in other places the crust is carrying a heavy load and could break, the center warned.

The center has scheduled a basic backcountry avalanche awareness class for Dec. 26-29, an advanced class for Jan. 25-28, and a class for snowmachiners on Jan. 4-6. The center can be reached at (907) 586-5699 or seavalanche@gci.net.



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