Observation: Turnagain

Location: Pete's North

Route & General Observations

Ascended the West Face of Pete’s North. There was 5″ of new snow. The weather was variable with a period of sun mixed with clouds for several hours mid-day that warmed the surface snow, by 2pm it started snowing above 1400′ and raining along the road. The new surface snow (top 5″) was very reactive to ski cuts on steep test slopes.

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
Observer Comments

Point releases triggered by ski cuts on steep test slopes, top 5", ran fast and clean. All cuts were below 2100'
The sun was intense through thin cloud cover, very warm from 12-2pm, before clouds became dense and snow showers continued.

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

Snowing in the morning, becoming sunny for 2 hours mid day, and snowing again in the afternoon.
Calm winds
Temps 30's F
Precip - snowing (S-1) above 1400' in the late afternoon

Snow surface

900-1500' - 4" of wet heavy snow
1600' - 2100' - 5" new low density snow, became moist in the afternoon due to sun warming


Pit at 2100' W aspect, 34*slope, HS=424cm, Pit Height=130cm - New snow (top 15cm) was very reactive to shovel tilt test - was failing on unconsolidated stealers. Moderate to high strength snow within the top 70cm of snow, layers were dense and didn't show propagation potential. See pit diagram for test results.

In general only the new snow (top 5") didn't show very good bonding to the surfaces below. This was also very evident in many ski cuts on small steep test slopes.

Photos & Video
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