Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Goldpan

Route & General Observations

Toured up bertha creek to Goldpan with a group of 5. Avalanche triggered on south aspect in goldpan area. Single digit Temps, clear, sunny, 5-10mph winds coming from the west.

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Forecaster Comments

Updated information:
Note that there was no wind effect of wind loading on the slope. This slab in Goldpan was triggered without any red flags prior and caught the group by surprise. There is a buried layer of surface hoar around a foot deep that formed on top of the Nov 9 storm and under the snow that has trickled in over the past week. It has been hard to find in places, but present in others. This layer may be the culprit.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect South
Elevation 3800ftSlope Angle 35deg
Crown Depth 12inWidth 50ft
Vertical Run 200ft  
Avalanche Details

Toured up bertha creek to Goldpan with a group of 5. There was some inconsistent evidence of wind slab as we toured up to the ridge. First run was an eastern aspect below ridgeline. No signs of instability after all 5 skied down. Second lap we headed back up the skintrack to the ridge to check out a southern aspect slope that was around 35 degrees at the top. The Avalanche occurred at the top of the slope as the 5th skier started down. The crown broke about 20 feet above the skier and propagated to the thinner snow on the sides of the wide chute. It was about a 40x40 foot area. Crown seemed to be about a foot deep. Skier was able to ski off the right side to safety. The Avalanche came to a stop on lower angle slope below. Avalanche could be classified as a D1, R2.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Recent wind transport in general but no notable wind loading or effect on slope that slid.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Single digits, sunny, clear, 5-10 mph west wind

Snow surface

4 inches of soft snow on top of increasing density snow

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