Feb 5, 2012


This is my first full winter in Juneau, and my first active avalanche season. The conditions have been right the past few days, and the slopes above town are heavy. A couple weeks ago the city blasted a couple notorious chutes, but this week we had over a dozen uninduced slides above town.

The snow didn't reach any houses, but the largest slide went across Thane Road late Wednesday night, shaking our house a mile away. We woke to the noise, thinking is was a slab of ice and snow breaking loose from our roof, and learned of the avalanche the next morning. The reality of living on the ocean, in the shadow of steep mountings on three sides that could release city suffocating amounts of snow at any moment is sobering. The idea of the event itself is exhilarating, but, I really enjoyed the visual quietness of the aftermath today as I made photographs. The perspective of snow, uprooted trees, and horizon was wonderfully foreign.

I referred to the city avalanche site to help me find the runouts, and was amazed at some of the photos from the 1962 slide that reached town. I'm mesmerized by this photograph of the aftermath from the 1962 slide tonight...

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