Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Lynx Creek

Route & General Observations

We rode into Lynx Creek to get eyes on the snowpack for the first time this season. We found a generally shallower snowpack than the north end of Turnagain Pass, which is consistent with observations from Pete’s, Cornbiscuit, and Magnum. Total snow depth was about 165 cm at 1300′ and just over 2 meters at 2000′ elevation. We found the same poor snowpack structure that we have been seeing throughout the area, with a layer of weak sugary facets 2.5′ – 3′ deep in the snowpack, sitting on top of a crust and capped by a firm slab of snow. There was about a foot of soft snow on the surface. We were able to get some photos of the recent glide avalanche on the west side of the drainage on our way in. The glide avalanche pulled out a slab avalanche just above the alders, which propagated maybe 300′ wide and looked to be about 2′ deep. Our best guess was the avalanche failed on our problem facet layer above the Halloween crust.

Poor structure and a generally thinner snowpack kept us playing in the low-angle terrain near treeline.



Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type GlideAspect East
Elevation 2000ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth4ftWidth 250ft
Vertical Run 700ft  
Avalanche Details

Glide avalanche released naturally 2-3 days ago. The bed surface was dusted with light snow from the past 2 days. The avalanche also triggered a persistent slab avalanche on its way down, which looked to be about 2' deep and failed on the facets above the Halloween crust.

We also saw a few older avalanches that looked to have failed on the Halloween facets during the last widespread natural cycle on 12/9.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Cloudy in the morning with improving visibility throughout the day. Winds were calm and temperatures were in the high teens to low 20's.

Snow surface

About a foot of soft snow on the surface. Plenty of signs of wind scouring and loading at upper elevations, but we stayed down in an area that had been sheltered from recent winds.


We stopped at 1340' to probe around, and then again at 2000' to dig a pit. The snow structure is very similar to what we've been seeing elsewhere, with a weak layer of facets sitting on top of a crust about 3' deep. Snow depth was very close to the pits we've recently dug on Cornbiscuit and Magnum. Details below:

Stop 1 (NE aspect, 1340'):
Total snow depth 165 cm, depth to weak layer 70 cm, depth to crust 90 cm.

Stop 2 ( NE aspect, 2000'):
Total depth 200 cm, depth to weak layer 90 cm, depth to crust 110 cm.
ECTX, PST 50/150 END.

Photos & Video
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