Andy Dennis, Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center Board Chair
The mission of the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center is to provide avalanche information and advisories to assist and educate the general public in avoiding avalanches. HPAC provides avalanche information and advisories for the Hatcher Pass area in the Talkeetna Mountains of Alaska. Advisories are provided each Saturday of the winter season, typically mid-Nov to mid-April. Avalanche warnings and significant weather and avalanche event updates are provided intermittently, depending on weather/avalanche events. A public observation platform (in conjunction with the CNFAIC) is available all winter and monitored daily. In 2018, HPAC started a mid-week summary/conditions report.
Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation has been instrumental in the success of our organization. MSTPF understands the challenges of small non-profits and works to support our mission. MSTPF has allowed us to focus on avalanche safety and saving lives.
Our COVID relief grant allowed us to install informational signage at the Road Runs in Hatcher Pass. Hatcher Pass is seeing explosive use in these strange times and HPAC is using MSTPF grant funds to education youth on avalanche safety. Snow sports is intrinsic in the Alaska lifestyle and HPAC would like to instill baseline safety knowledge in Valley youth.
Our vision of the future of Hatcher Pass includes a fully funded avalanche center, similar to other mountain locales such as Lake Tahoe, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. We are excited for the increasing popularity of backcountry skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, fat biking, and snow-machining. HPAC is excited to raise the collective knowledge of backcountry users and save lives.
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