Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Center Ridge/Kickstep

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Toured from Center Ridge parking lot back to just below Kickstep, and skied the mellow runs immediately below the actual peak. Ski quality was good, if somewhat shallow, above the low-elevation crusts. Significant development of surface hoar was noticeable at all elevations throughout the tour. Unintentionally triggered a cornice fall during the approach to our line, but it did not catch any member of our party or trigger any underlying problems.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Cornice Fall
Aspect NortheastElevationunknown
Slope AngleunknownCrown Depthunknown
Width 20ftVertical Run 100ft
Avalanche Details

While touring up the corniced ridgeline to looker's right of the mellow run below Kickstep, and walking the thin line between the NE-facing line of cornices and the steep wind slab to the opposite side, we encountered several tears in the snow indicating that a section of the cornice was releasing, followed immediately by a collapse of the largest overhanging cornice to our left. The cornice fall was about a D1 itself, but did not trigger any underlying avalanche problems.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Weather

It was high single digits (F) and clear skies for the entirety of the tour (~8 AM to 5 PM). There were some light winds in the open plain below Kickstep, but nothing especially considerable.

Snow surface

From the Center Ridge parking lot until gaining the ridge itself, the prevailing surface crust was noticeable, as was sizable surface hoar. Once on top of the ridge, and back towards Kickstep, the surface conditions were largely powdery and faceted out, with the exception of slabs on some windward slopes.

Snowpack

On the wind-hammered SW facing slope below Kickstep, a quick hand pit failed with very slight force, causing us to redirect onto the ridgeline.

Photos & Video
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