Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Eddies

Route & General Observations

Skinned in on the new access trail, up through the alders and along the edge of the trees to ~2,000′. Skied two laps on the north facing low angle glades from about 10 to 1:30.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger UnknownRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type0Aspect Northwest
Elevation 1400ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidth 40ft
Vertical Run 50ft  
Avalanche Details

On our second lap up we noticed that a wind loaded roll above the skin track had slid between our first and second laps. The wind was blowing hard enough that by the time we got back to that location the bed surface had nearly filled back in with wind drifted snow. It was hard to tell if it was natural or skier triggered due to the snow being deposited by the wind. It was hard to tell if the tracks at the base of the slide debris were from people skinning over to check out the slide or if the debris were covering tracks that may have triggered the slide.

Red Flags
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Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Natural or skier triggered slide above the skin track at ~1,400 feet.

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

Very strong winds blowing from the South actively transporting snow. The trees provided a substantial wind block. There were little to no wind slabs on the lee side of the trees. It was snowing on and off throughout the morning.

Snow surface

The storm snow came in upside down. Below 1,000' there was a rain/wet snow surface. Above 1,000' there were actively forming wind slabs on the west and southern aspects. The wind slab varied in thickness and hardness, but generally got thicker and harder with elevation.


We did several hand shear tests on the wind slab. Generally the wind slab would break on isolation with a Q2 shear on the new snow surface under the wind slab. If the wind slab didn't break when isolated it would pull out easily. The windslabs varied in thickness, but were generally 4-5 cm thick, and could be gently picked up.

Photos & Video
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