Observation: Turnagain

Location: Petes North

Route & General Observations

A few laps on Petes North to 2700′ on generally NW to SW aspects.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

None observed

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

Mostly clear skies in the morning, changing to obscured for a brief period midday when snowfall at 1"/hr came in for ~20 minutes. Less than 1" accumulation during the day; broken skies with valley fog and occasional flurries in the afternoon. Temps in the 30s, variable light winds in the morning, increasing in intensity and gusting moderate from the NE by late afternoon.

Moderate snow transport with gusts began around 3 PM on Petes South and Petes North ridgelines.

Snow surface

Abrupt changes by elevation today from recent weather:

700' - 1200' - Semi-supportable melt freeze crust over 1" of moist snow, sitting on a supportable crust
1200 - 1500' - Non-supportable melt freeze crust over 6" of moist snow
1500 - 2000' - 6-12" of soft, settling snow - right side up - over a denser base
2000' - 2700' - 4-8" of soft, settling snow over a denser base

From how it was skiing, the surface snow density seemed to increase during the day.


Previous wind loading was evident near the Pete's ridgeline, on a generally West/SW aspect.

A hasty hand pit failed under easy pressure about 30cm down, so we dug a pit to look at wind deposited snow:

2500' in elevation, SW aspect, 25 degree slope.
Height of Snow was greater than 300cm. Pit/test depth: 100cm (see photo below)

0-90cm: Fist -> 1 finger hardness snow. Quick shovel shear test revealed 4 wind deposited layers with very thin interfaces between each.
90cm: Pencil hard melt freeze crust

Test Results:
CTM RP, ECTN 13 30cm down on a thin interface between two wind packed layers
CTH RP, ECTN 23 40cm down on a thin interface between two wind packed layers
CTH RP 60cm down on a thin interface between two wind packed layers

No red flags observed.

Photos & Video
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