Seward Ranger District-12/13/2018
It’s beginning to look a lot like winter but yet not enough snow cover to think about opening any areas for Winter Motorized use. Seward Ranger District thus far has received 2-6” of snow this past week at lower elevation parking lots and 1-3’ of snow above 1,500’ elevation across the District. The snow fell cold and has yet to bond with the ice layer in many locations, let’s just say ice cleats should be a staple item in your pack.
The photo is of the Lower Russian Lake avalanche that came down during last Friday’s heavy rainfall. This is on the trail to the Barber Cabin and is 20’ high x 40’ wide where it crosses the trail. This particular avalanche releases 2-3 x’s/winter. There is a winter trail to Barber cabin bypassing the avalanche paths and can be accessed at mile 2.4 of the Lower Russian Lakes trail when Lower Russian Lake has good ice. Ice thickness in this location is close to 6”, the southern ¼ of the Lake is newly frozen, please see notes on ice travel at the end of this message.
3’ of snow at Dale Clemens Cabin.
Resurrection Pass trail south from the Sterling Hwy or Slaughter Ridge Rd access has 3” of snow gradually increasing to 7” at the junction of these two accesses.
Today ice thickness measurements were;
Carter Lake, +7” beneath 4” snow. Drill bit used was 7” long.
Summit Lake, 6.5” beneath 4” snow.
Upper Trail Lake near Ball Diamond, 2.5” beneath 1” snow.
Please keep in mind that ice thickness may vary drastically on each body of water depending on past and present weather, location, inlets, outlets and springs, etc.… just because I give ice thickness reports on frozen bodies of water does not mean ice travel is safe, it’s just information on ice thickness. There are many factors in determining where, how, when, and if you should travel on ice, here is a link with a lot of information on how to minimize dangers of falling through the ice and the many hazards associated with traveling over frozen water:
Chugach National Forest, Seward Ranger District
33599 Ranger Station Spur
Seward, AK 99664
Caring for the land and serving people