Alaska December 27, 2017
What Real Life Looks Like Inside The Snowiest Town In Alaska
Valdez is the snowiest town in Alaska with an annual average of over 300 inches of snow. Most of Alaska gets well below 100 inches annually, which makes Valdez the snowiest town by far. This small town is piled with snow most winters and people simply adapt their lives to the conditions. Many residents snowbird and leave town when the snow is piled high, but the brave figuring out how to survive is just another of the challenges life in Alaska presents.
Life can present many challenges when you live in a small town where an average of over 20 feet a year of snow falls on the residents.
Valdez is right on a deep fjord in the Prince William Sound and tucked into the base of the heavily glaciated Chugach Mountains. This provides the perfect conditions for heavy snowfall.
Snowfalls can be so intense that a foot or more falls overnight in heavy conditions. This can constantly slow down transportation and plans to leave or return to town through the mountain passes.
In this northernmost point of the Pacific temperate rainforest, there are an average of 70 snowy days a year between October and April.
Almost every day you have to brush snow off of the car, scrape ice off the windshield, and warm up the engine before you can leave the driveway.
The light, like the rest of Alaska, is low in the winter. This can be especially true when the sky is covered with clouds and the light is constantly obscured by falling snow.
The roofs of houses have to be regularly shovelled off to avoid dangerous snow slides in the spring. It also helps roofs from caving in under the weight of the heavy, wet snow.
Avalanches and thick piles of snow on the roads can stop traffic for days while road crews clear the way.
And all that snow has to be put somewhere. They form a giant snow pile with the snow from the roads that sits in the middle town until the epic melt in May.
The perfect powder has a niche tourism trade for ski and snowboard adventures by helicopter up into the gorgeous mountain passes.
Despite all the challenges all that snow can bring, the roughly 3500 residents of this charming small town wouldn't have it any other way.
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The Snowiest Town In The Nation Is Right Here In Alaska. Or maybe try 8 Great Ski Hills That Prove Alaska Is The Best Place To Play In The Snow.
Have you been to Valdez? Tell us about it in the comments below.