The Alyeska Resort closed today siting high winds and extreme avalanche danger.
The resort received over 20 inches of new snow overnight on the upper mountain with the National Weather Service predicting another 2 - 6" inches of snow today in areas above 1000 ft elevation.
Over the past three days the resort has received 42" of new snow along with increased amounts of rain, resulting in increased avalanche hazard.
In addition, winds of 50 mph with gusts up to 86 mph have been recorded at sno-tel stations throughout Turnagain Arm.
The high winds coupled with heavy precipitation led resort officials to close for the day.
In his daily avalanche report, Matt Murphy of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center stated:
"We are in the middle of a very dangerous and widespread natural avalanche cycle. It has gotten to the point where we are not trying to forecast IF avalanches are going to occur. We know that natural and human-triggered avalanches are certain today. We are starting to try to forecast how big these avalanches will get. Recently, we have mostly been seeing small to medium sized natural avalanches, but it is likely that we will start to see larger avalanches as today’s storm hits us, and it looks like this storm will pack a big punch.
For whatever it is worth, in the six years that I have worked at the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, this is the longest time I have seen the avalanche danger at HIGH or above since I have worked here."
To stay updated on resort, weather and storm conditions visit the Alyeska Resort website, snow-cams, and the Avalanche Information Center daily reports.