Here in the Anchorage area, there are a number of hiking trails to enjoy year round. Chugach State Park offers numerous hiking trails, and nearby Flattop Mountain is the most often climbed mountain peak in the entire state. When enjoying any of these trails, you need to keep these winter hiking safety tips in mind if you are to avoid injuries.
Never head out on a winter hike without letting someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. That way, if you do not come back within a reasonable period of time, that person can commence search and rescue efforts. Better yet, hike with a buddy, and make sure that both of you notify someone else as to your hiking plans.
Check the weather before you go, to include avalanche reports. If severe conditions are pending, put off your hike until they are more favorable. Even if the report shows fair weather, you should nonetheless be prepared for anything. Dress in plenty of layers, and be sure to take bring along a compass, working flashlight, map, pocketknife and matches. You should also have extra food, water, and signal flares with you just in case.
Winter is not the right time to explore unfamiliar trails. Instead, choose ones that you are very familiar with so that the odds of you getting lost are greatly reduced. If you’re hiking inside Chugach State Park, check with officials there to find out about any trail closings ahead of time.
Plan only short hikes to ensure you do not have to spend too much time outdoors. Ideally, your hike should last no longer than about an hour from start to finish if you are to avoid becoming overly exposed to the elements.
Here at Power and Brown, we want you to stay safe this winter. Contact us to find out more.