Every region of Alaska is a little different. The weather can vary from light snow in Anchorage to several feet pilled up for 9 months in the far North. Some areas have glaciers moving slowing down the mountain, while others have large chunks of ice in the water.
So what do we do in the long winters? We do all the things that we can not do in the summer. Summers are short and we must prepare the food for winter. We have large gardens that must be canned and dried. There is no time for the fun things in this busy time. But when winter comes, the crochet hooks come out, the knitting needles click, and the women gather to quilt. Clothes are sewn and furniture gets a face lift. We have lots of time in the winter.
In the winter we celebrate babies that were born during the busy time and have showers for the ones coming in the winter. We hold barn dances and dance the night away to the sound of the banjo or who knows what else. Winter is a fun time, no matter where you live. It is a time for socializing and enjoying the warm fires in the wood stove. It is time for a nice hot cup of chocolate. Oh what bliss it is in the winter.
The other very Alaskan trait is that Alaskans like to play in the awesome dry snow. It doesn’t matter whether you like to ski, snowmobile, or run with the sled dogs, Alaskan’s are on the move in the cold winters. Winters come alive and we love to come out in the snow to do our favorite hobbies. This is our favorite time of the year.
Alaska has the most fantastic mountains on earth. Pictured here is Chilkat Pass. It sits on the border between British Columbia, Canada and Alaska. The mountains are fresh and white, as the winters in this area are extremely snowy and the temps get quite cold. On the plus side is the way we can dress for the cold and be toasty and warm. An Alaskan winter is not a time of hardship, but rather it is a time of excitement. A real Alaskan adventure begins in the winter.
The tall peaks and mountains in the more central part of the state are snow covered year around. They are beautiful! This one is Pioneer Peak near Palmer, Alaska. This was taken in the late spring, as the snow had left the trees. These tall mountains are snow covered all year long. Alaskan mountains are rugged and majestic. Is it possible to be any more magnificent?
Whittier in the late spring or early summer is magnificent. How marvelous to look out your window and see this even in the summer time. There is nothing like the more southern part. They get less snow, but of course the mountains are still snow covered. Whittier is the Gateway to the glacier and wildlife filled Prince William Sound. This is an amazing area and it all begins at the foot of these mountains in Whittier, Alaska. From here in the summers you can take tours into the back country where the beautiful glaciers are.
The wildlife around the Prince William Sound is amazing. You will see the extraordinary moose, with his long slender legs. Bears fishing in the water, and dear passing by looking so stately. Summer is a busy time for them also, as they are also preparing for winter. During the short summers, cubs are born and cared for. Whittier is a beautiful playground in winter or summer.
On the edge of the the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska
The last area we are going to look at is the Matanuska Glacier. This was taken on the edge of the the Matanuska Glacier in between Palmer and Glennallen. Notice the blue shades of the ice on the glacier. Alaskan glaciers are a light to a deeper blue and they are magnificent. Seeing this is just another of the plus sides of being in Alaska in the winter.
People often wonder when is the best time to come. Every month is different. September and October can be snowy or it can be a beautiful extension of summer. These two months can go either way and you live with the fact that snow can come any time. November, December, and January are for sure winter. If you like to ski, this is the time to come. The slopes just get better and better. The days are very short and most of what you do will get done in twilight.
As you start to enjoy February, March and April, the winter will begin to moderate a little. The days get longer and you find you are doing less in the night. Any time is the right time to come. Winter is amazing and you will enjoy it no matter when you come. So pack the family and grab the dog, and head to the North Country. It is white and cold. The days are short. The nights are long. And Alaskans have come out to play.