Forums Avy Discussion Forum The mother of all avalanches near Thompson Pass
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  • #579582
    86 Posts

    Alaska started out great but this month everything has gone to hell in a hand basket! The so called Polar Vortex has disrupted “normal” weather patterns. The massive high pressure plaguing the western half of the lower 48 has also directed the Jet Stream to flow due north. This has brought record warmth and rain to Alaska. It has been hitting the upper 40`s in Anchorage. In Fairbanks, our normal sub zero weather has turned into crippling freezing rain that has had the airport closed for several days.

    Alyeska has shut down indefinitely until the snow stabilizes and avalanches of biblical proportions have buried the Richardson Highway in Keystone Canyon between Thompson Pass and Valdez. Currently, all back country is a death trap due to massive amounts of rain and huge “glacier sized” avalanches are running to ground. This video was just released on the local news of the Keystone Canyon slide that formed an ice dam on the Lowe River, creating a huge and growing lake that is now over 60 feet deep covering the highway. When that dam goes, look out downstream! I have never seen anything of this magnitude. I have my annual Alaska trip scheduled for February 10 through February 21 and had hoped to hit Hatcher and Turnagain Passes to split, but if something does not turn around quick, there is no point in going!


    679 Posts

    Yep. Non-stop rain here in Kodiak and record temps. We basically said f**k winter and went rafting this weekend instead.


    150 Posts

    I am planning to go to AK in early march and none of this is good news 😥 . I hope it gets cold and then snows a lot in the next month. Last time I was there was snowpocalypse 11/12, not looking quite as good as that, at this stage 🙁

    601 Posts

    Is anyone under there or did A-DOT&PF close it off before hand?
    What’s downstream of the dam?

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    Skijor AK
    33 Posts


    They should be ok though. The old town site will probably flood again. The estuary area will flood but the majority of Valdez itself is no longer located there.

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