Alaska is well known as a space of great local art and fantastic winter sport. Unfortunately alongside these incredible benefits of taking out Alaska car rentals to traverse the state, you also have to be warned of the few disadvantages of being in Alaska – namely, the avalanche warnings. If you stay up to date and aware, however, you won’t have to worry about your safety and can enjoy your trip to its fullest.
The Hatcher Pass warning
Most recently, there was an avalanche warning in Hatcher Pass. Anchorage has been getting a fresh dumping of snow and that comes with risks. Unfortunately, the warning came to fruition. On November 24, an avalanche struck the Hatcher Pass Road and the warning for the area is still in effect. If you’re visiting Anchorage in your Alaska car rentals, we highly recommend steering clear of the Hatcher Pass area for a few weeks until warnings pass.
The Talkeetna Mountains was the particular focus of the warnings in late November, but the warnings were issued to anyone in the backcountry in general. The other areas seen as “at risk” were Chugach National Forest, Palmer, Wasilla, Sutton, Anchorage, and Chickaloon.
Avalanche season is here
We would like to warn our Alaska car rentals customers about the dangers of careless backcountry travel and skiing. Sadly, human-caused avalanches occur more often than you may believe.
On Friday, November 20 the first human-triggered avalanche of the season took place. A skier triggered an avalanche on Tenderfoot Ridge in the Kenai Peninsula around Summit Lake.
That being said – don’t be scared to take your Alaska car rentals for a ski trip. You’ll be safe if you plan and choose the safe hills. Keep an eye on the forecast and avalanche warnings before heading off. Remember that avalanche is caused by loose, thick snow and heavy winds; choose hills with an older snow covering and little wind effect. This means keeping an eye on the hills that have gained the most recent snowfall. It may mean you have to drive a little further in your Alaska car rentals, but safety is always worth the extra travel time.
This is a good website to keep updated on avalanche warnings around the country – even outside of Alaska.
Watch for rough roads in your Alaska car rentals
Alongside the avalanche warnings that have been striking up all around the state, particularly Anchorage, there have been concerns about road conditions. Rain has been intermittent with snow for the past week or so and has created concerns around black ice on the roads. This means that no matter where you are driving your Alaska car rentals, you need to be aware of the conditions and take the appropriate precautions.
One of the most important things you can do is also one of the simplest – leave space. Always think about road conditions when you’re driving and when you’re deciding how much space to leave the car in front of you. With icy roads, stop times are drastically increased. Collisions are effectively reduced when drivers respect the road and other drivers by giving lots of space in poor weather.
Another important tactic is to plan your travel in advance. Always know the routes you need to take and make sure to educate yourself on alternative routes. Be prepared to be flexible with your plans. If there is dangerous weather on one of your stops, make sure you’re comfortable changing your trip a little avoid risky situations. Bring both a GPS and a paper map – when heavy weather hits, you never know when signal could cut out.
Keep these hints in mind, and your trip to Alaska will go off without a hitch. Get started on a seamless journey when you reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis.