Observation: Turnagain

Location: Eddies

Route & General Observations

Toured to about 2600′, skied one run through the north-facing trees, then one on the west facing meadows. We didn’t try to get on anything steep. Sastrugi on the ridge near treeline, but limited signs of wind transport beyond that. Most of the evidence of the avalanches from the past week has been buried by recent storms. We were able to tell where one slab released on a really shallow slope angle (estimated at about 30 degrees). Best guess is this failed on a layer of surface hoar, just because of the low slope angle.

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

-2 at the parking lot around 11:30. Winds were calm below treeline, with a light breeze on the ridgeline that made it feel quite cold. Skies were partly cloudy.

Although the wind wasn't doing much where we were, we did see snow blowing off the higher ridgetops along the Turnagain arm, back near Kickstep, and south towards Lynx Creek and Silvertip.

Snow surface

About a foot of soft snow on the surface from the storms over the past week. Settlement cones around trees (see attached photo) were impressive. Those show how the storm snow is settling into a stiffer slab.


We didn't dig today. Stomping around on small but steep terrain features, we weren't able to get any shooting cracks or any slabs to release. Some of the little rollovers we were testing had been loaded over the past few days, but the wind slabs did not seem fresh.

Since we weren't seeing any signs of loading where we were skiing, our main concern was the deeper facet layers. We were really careful with choosing where we were skiing, sticking to mellow slopes and spotting each other whenever we crossed any steeper rolls. It definitely takes a little more thought traveling around when dealing with a persistent weak layer like this.

Photos & Video
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