Observation: Turnagain

Location: Cornbiscuit

Route & General Observations

We were up at the pass setting up the ‘Are You Beeping?’ sign at Tincan and were able to get up for a quick tour in the afternoon on Cornbiscuit. We saw a very large glide avalanche on the Repeat Offender avalanche path on Seattle Ridge, above the motorized uptrack. That avalanche occurred sometime last night or early this morning. It’s really concerning how many active glide cracks still exist directly above the uptrack. This is the second time during this glide cycle that an avalanche has released above the uptrack, but both have barely hit it. The portions that are most threatened are like a ticking time bomb- it is likely the uptrack will take a direct hit at some point this season.

We dug a quick pit at 2000′ on Cornbiscuit (just above alder line) to look for the early January weak layers and couldn’t find them. For now it seems like the ongoing glide cycle is the main concern until the outflow winds pick up later in the week.

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

Cloudy skies with light intermittent snowfall for most of the day. There was a very light drizzle this afternoon that just barely dampened the snow surface at lower elevations. Winds were light out of the south.

Snow surface

6-12" settled powder up to 1800' or so, with a slight wind skin up to 2000'. Talking to other groups in the area it sounds like the wind has moved the snow around more in higher elevations.


Our pit was very hasty during our quick tour at the end of the day, and we were specifically targeting the early January weak layers that contributed to the large avalanches during last weekend's storm. We didn't see anything alarming in the top three feet of the snowpack where we dug. For now the biggest concern is the ongoing glide avalanche cycle we've been seeing from Girdwood to Seward.

Photos & Video
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