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Officials: Check avalanche conditions before backcountry outings

Posted: Friday, December 25, 2009

ANCHORAGE - Officials are reminding outdoor enthusiasts to be wary of avalanche conditions in the backcountry, especially with the arrival of new snow.

According to the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, avalanche danger in most areas remains low to moderate depending on wind conditions in the area. Avalanche danger, however, can change daily, experts say. It is strongly advised that recreationists check avalanche advisories prior to setting out on excursions.

Before heading out into the backcountry for snowmachining, skiing or snowshoeing, the Alaska State Troopers are encouraging that users to file a trip plan with detailed information regarding where the party will be recreating and what time the group return. They recommend giving a trip plan to someone who will call the appropriate officials if problems arise.

AST recommends the following safety gear:

• Cell phone and communication equipment

• Avalanche transceivers

• Probes and shovels

A wilderness trip plan form can be found online at: http://www.dps.state.ak.us/pio/docs/WildernessTripPlan.pdf.



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