Observation: Turnagain

Location: Lynx Creek

Route & General Observations

First look at the snowpack in the Lynx Creek drainage on the south end of Turnagain Pass. Overall the snowpack looks very similar to the rest of the forecast area. The main concern is surface instabilities with new and windblown snow, but we are also playing close attention to how the snow is behaving around the Thanksgiving crust. We dug two pits at around 2100′ and did not get any unstable test results in either pit. However, crusts are notoriously tricky to predict and we’ll be watching this one closely for a while.

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

It was snowing surprisingly hard for most of the time we were out. It probably snowed 1-2" over a few hours, which was more than I was expecting looking at models this morning. Winds were calm, but we did not get much higher than about 2200' and had no visuals on any higher terrain.

Snow surface

There was about a foot of soft snow on the surface, with crusty conditions up to around 1000'. The 11/29-30 storm dropped about 2 feet of snow where we were riding.


We dug two pits on northeast aspects, each right around 2100'. The Thanksgiving crust was buried about 2' deep, and was 6" thick in one pit but only about an inch thick in the other. We did several tests in each pit and did not get any unstable test results on that layer (ECTN26, ECTN24, PST-no result). Looking closely under a lens, it looks like the layer above the crust is still composed mainly of rounded grains, with maybe a few faceted angles mixed in. It does not seem like a major avalanche-producer just yet, but it could easily head that way with a heavier load, or if that layer continues to facet.

Photos & Video
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