Snowfall opens snowmachining in Denali, Hatcher Pass

Posted: Sunday, March 02, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Snowfall in Denali Park and at Hatcher Pass has opened up areas to snowmachine use.

According to National Park Service, there's now adequate snow cover for use of snowmobiles for traditional activities in two-thirds of the park. The wilderness core, which is traditionally closed to snowmobiles, remains closed to the machines.

Nevertheless, park officials said riding conditions are poor and potentially dangerous. There are many areas of thin ice and open water and avalanche hazards exist. Backcountry travelers are warned to avoid steep slopes, narrow valleys and ravines.

Meanwhile, the Mat-Su area office of Alaska State Parks said the east side of the Hatcher Pass Management area is open to snowmachines.

Park officials said the avalanche hazard in the Hatcher Pass area is considerable and those traveling in the backcountry are advised to take rescue equipment.

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