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Avalanche Country!

Discussion in 'Storm Pictures' started by Alaska Boss, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    There are many places in North America that have to deal with the threat of snowslides & avalanches, and even though this is a below-average snowfall winter for this area of Alaska, we still get enough snow that avalanches are always a potential danger, and happen around here every winter. I'll post a few pics of the country & conditions just south of where I live. Here a small avalanche came down just across the river from a warning sign...

    Avalanche area (Small).JPG
     
  2. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Another area of steep mountains with constant snowslides that come down each winter... most of these never make it to the highway,...

    avalanche along the road (Small).JPG
     
  3. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    The problems begin as you get higher into the mountains & have to drive right next to the steep slopes...

    mountain winter driving (Small).JPG
     
  4. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Here a small snow slide made it to the highway several weeks ago... the road was closed for about ½ day as DOT crews worked with loaders to open it back up,...

    small snowslide on the road (Small).JPG
     
  5. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Snow poles are used along the highways in the high country where blizzards & white-outs make it hard to see where the road is not only for traveling, but also for the DOT plows trying to keep it open...

    snowpoles along the highway (Small).JPG
     
  6. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Poles are placed so the horizontal end lines up vertically with the edge of the pavement, and spaced so that hopefully even during the worst white-out conditions, a plow driver can see the next pole before he gets off-track from the previous one,... & all have reflective tape on them...

    upper part of the Pass (Small).JPG
     
  7. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    The borders of avalanche areas can usually be determined by the tree edges, but on some occasions, avalanches come down into new areas or during extremely heavy snow years, will flood out much farther than normal & shave off every tree in it's path. I've seen avalanches that have taken out trees over 2 feet in diameter, that were probably several hundred years old & snapped them off like toothpicks,..

    snowslide area III (Small).JPG
     
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,178

    Thanks for the pics. Beautiful country. Those poles are a neat idea. How well do they work?
     
  9. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Steep mountainsides, wind, heavy snowfall, temperature inversions all play a part in avalanche potential,...

    Top of the pass (Small).JPG
     
  10. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951


    They work great til some DOT guy isn't paying attention & takes it out.. lol,... but in reality, they have to have them... or the roads would close down & stay closed til the plow trucks could see well enough to determine where the road is after a snow or blow...
     
  11. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    One thing about deep snow country is when the banks get high enough... you couldn't run off the road if you tried... :D

    winter scene (Small).JPG
     
  12. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    As beautiful as this area of south-central Alaska is, it's also one of the heaviest snowfall areas of the continent,... having recorded annual snowfalls of over 1000",.. just under 100' !! :eek:

    White winter wonderland (Small).JPG
     
  13. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Unreall :D Thanks
     
  14. rfed32

    rfed32 Senior Member
    Messages: 473

    thats awesome....prob some good snowboarding out there....they are perrrrrT pics man
     
  15. QMVA

    QMVA Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    ROFL thats to funny. The first pic shows a sign saying do not stop and the rest are of your car stopped in the area:jester: That does look like some sick area to snowboard in. Just make sure you have someone there to dig you out:D
     
  16. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    LOL,... yeah I know,... I knew someone would point that out,.. I even thought about it as I took the picture, but reality is, there was almost no chance of an avalanche starting on that day, being calm & cold,... they almost always are "triggered" by something or someone. DOT here has special platforms installed in high-risk areas along the highway,with special "cannons", where they actually use explosive-tipped artillary shells & they "shoot" the avalanches down during periods of "high-risk", & bring the avalanches down in a somewhat controlled manner before they get too big & pose a serious threat to motorists. But,.. I always carry a shovel with me too,... :D :D
     
  17. Alaskanredneck

    Alaskanredneck Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 10

    those pics look like Tompson pass, going for the location in your profile you are about 50 miles south of me, if you get to the other side of the pass on a nice saturday you could probably get some pics of the snow boarders comming down and hitchhiking back up to go again
     
  18. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    Yep, that's where it is... & you're right,... it doesn't even have to be a Saturday,.. at this time of year, on days like that, there are snowmachiners, skiiers, snowboarders all over the place!! People will take off work just to play in the mountains on days like this !! :waving:
     
  19. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    A bicycle rides past a rather large late-winter avalanche that didn't make it to the highway,... this is south of Anchorage, Alaska, from several years ago.

    avalanche (Medium).jpg
     
  20. Fordistough

    Fordistough Senior Member
    from USA
    Messages: 394

    When did you take these picures, winter? I thought when it was winter in Alaska, it was dark 24/7 am I wrong?

    -Thann