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Observation: Turnagain

Location: Girdwood

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Field Observations
Jan.21, 2015

Route
Max’s to 3200ft

Weather
Temps: 20*F
Wind: Calm
Sky: Sunny
Precip: None

Obvious Signs Of Instability
Recent Avalanches-NO
Shooting Cracks-NO
Collapsing – NO

Surface Obs –
500′ -2000′: In tree canopy no snow accumulation
2000′: In open areas HS≈50cm, 1″ low density (faceting) snow on melt/freeze crust, w/ recent surface hoar growth
(5-6mm)
2500′: 3-6″ of low density (faceting) snow on melt/freeze crust w/ recent surface hoar growth (5-6mm)
3100′: 1-8″ of low density (faceting) snow on melt/freeze crust w/ recent surface hoar growth (2-3mm) Several small
scoured areas w/ melt/freeze crust exposed were exposed on windward features of ridge.

Snow Below the Surface:
Pit at 2500′, W aspect, HS=120cm. 3″ faceting snow on 13″ melt/freeze crust w/ layers of ice, on 2′ of
moist melt forms to ground. On surface (V≈ 5mm)

Pit at 3100′, W aspect, HS=150cm, 2″ faceting snow on 5″ old wind slab, on 19″ of melt/freeze crust, on
moist melt forms. Only dug 80cm from surface. On surface (V≈2-3mm)

Both pits were composed of very strong melt/freeze crusts on top of moist melt forms ( which were still
able to make a sticky snowballs.) No stability tests were performed due to the strength (P-K hard) and size
(1-1.5′ thick) of this melt/freeze crust. The surface snow was most notable with widespread surface hoar
(2-6mm) on 2-8″ of faceting weak snow. This weak poorly bonded old snow sitting on a dense slick surface is something keep an eye on as we receive new snow over the next few days.

*Several old avalanches seen in Virgin Cr. drainage on the North aspect of Big League. It is unknown when
these avalanches occurred, but most likely during the last storm cycle (Dec.14-15)

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