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Park Service warns of avalanche danger in Alaska Range

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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:24 am

FAIRBANKS — The National Park Service announced on Tuesday that 1980 additions to Denali National Park and Preserve north of the Alaska Range are now open to snowmachining but riders should beware of avalanche danger.

The Park Service said riding conditions are potentially dangerous due to recent heavy snowfall and high winds. Avalanche hazard is high due to wind crusts and layers in the snow pack. It is important to avoid steep slopes, narrow valleys, and ravines, the Park Service said. There are many areas of thin ice or open water on rivers.

Park additions south of the Alaska Range remain closed to snowmachine use due to inadequate snow cover, the Park Service said.

Lands within the former Mount McKinley National Park on both the north and the south sides of the Alaska Range are closed to all snowmachine use by federal regulation. Maps with GPS coordinates for the park and preserve boundary are available on the park website at www.nps.gov/dena/parkmgmt/park-boundary-info.htm.

Regulations and information regarding snowmobiling in Denali National Park and Preserve is available on the web at www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/snowmobiling.htm.

Contact staff Writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.

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