Observation: Turnagain

Location: Center Ridge (60.78065N, -149.18453 E)

Route & General Observations

These observations were part of the Alaska Avalanche School’s level one course. We started out with hard, crusty snow in the morning near the Center Ridge Parking lot around 11am. By noon, the meadows to the west of Center Ridge had light snow accumulation on supportive crust. Sunburst’s North-facing slopes showed many wet loose wet avalanches. We climbed the south-facing slope onto Center Ridge up to the weather station, which had a good view of a probable skier-triggered wind slab in Tincan Common Bowl. We dug seven pits (one instructor + six students) with mostly similar results, and then descended the way we came on fun dust on crust followed by an icy luge back to the car.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

A few glide cracks and cornices on some steep aspects of the ridges reaching to the south off of Center Ridge.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Very lightly snowing in the morning; wind was negligible; blue skies and bright sun by the end of the day was baking south-facing slopes.

Snow surface

5-8 centimeters of new snow on Center Ridge sitting on top of fairly supportive melt-freeze crust.


Booth penetration thigh deep in most places, crotch deep in a few. A snow pit on a 42 degree slope with a 148 degree (S-SE) aspect on the side of a sun-baked gully. The test was performed in the sun, and it was very, very wet snow. From the top down, we found a 5 cm very soft top layer (Fist), 10 cm of soft (4F), 20 cm of saturated very soft (fist), 20 cm of soft snow (4 finger), 10 cm medium (1F), 20 cm of pencil. Total snow depth was deeper than the 240 cm probe. ECT test showed no result (ECT-X).

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.