Feelin’ Snowed In
Here in our home office in Lake City, Minnesota the winter has been a snowy one. Back in December we saw a snow storm that dropped 22 inches on us which was preceeded by a couple of 6″-12″ snow storms. Yesterday we saw another 12 inches with a chance for 3 more inches today.
I thought the groundhog saw his shadow? Right now this year’s prediction seems miles away.
So, here I sit. Bummed about the fact that my garden will have to wait. Counting the weeks my new black heels will have to sit in their shoe box before they have a solid surface to walk on. Wishing I owned a sled dog team so that I could avoid shoveling again….when it dawns on me….this is nothing compared to the amount of snow the city of Valdez, Alaska gets every year!
Valdez, Alaska – the “little Switzerland” of Alaska – gets an average of 320 inches of snow fall a year! Put another way, thats 26.6 feet of snow on average. When it snows in Valdez, the residents not only shovel their side walks and driveways but their roofs and boats as well! If they failed to shovel their boats, the boats would sink into the harbor!
There are some benefits to this type of winter. Keystone Canyon, a few miles north of Valdez is home to several frozen waterfalls (Horsetail and Bridal Veil Falls for example) which makes Valdez a world-class destination for ice climbers. Thompson Pass, further north of Valdez, boasts some of the best helicopter accessed extreme skiing and snowboarding terrain in all of North America.
(Side note: Thompson Pass holds a few impressive records . During the winter of 1952-1953, Thompson pass saw 974.5″ of snow- or 81.2 feet! Thompson Pass also holds the record for the most snowfall in one 24-hour period – 62″ or 5.16 feet of snow.)
After this little reflection, I start to feel a little better about my situation. Winter in Minnesota may be cold but its not that bad.
However, I soon receive a phone call from my husband John who is driving around south Texas conducting Alaska travel shows. Its 79 and sunny there. The birds are chirping and the sun is warm.
That does it. Bring on Spring! I can’t take it anymore!
See a warmer Valdez, Alaska on John Hall’s Alaska land tours.
View Alaska snowfall accumulation this winter here.