Observation: Turnagain

Location: Pete's North

Route & General Observations

Skinned up Pete’s North to 1,700 feet through a minefield of alders and downed trees. Not recommended until we get at least a foot more snow.

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Only whumping or shooting cracks was in alder facet gardens in isolated areas.

Jumped hard on a steep test slope near Pete's creek in lower elevations and triggered a D1 storm slab 20 cm deep that propagated a ski length in each direction. Slab failed on new snow, old snow interface.

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

2 pm @ parking lot: S1, obscured, teens, calm winds
3:30 at 1,700 feet: S-1, overcast, teens, calm winds

Snow surface

Fresh pow! 20 cm of new snow.


Easy hand shears between new snow and old snow interface, but new snow was breaking apart in small blocks. New snow was not bonding well to old snow (blocks falling into skin track constantly). Interface failure was on small stellars or broken stellars.

Near Pete's Creek in powerline corridor, noticed new snow sitting over old snow sitting over lots of sugary facets.

While skinning we were getting lots of cracking around our skis resulting in the new snow shearing off the old snow in blocks and falling into the skin track.

It was VERY difficult to find an area to dig a pit that was away from trees and not full of alders. There were a lot of downed trees and alders barely laid down by the snow, or alders still poking through. Above 1,700 ft there was a very hearty band of towering alders.

Finally found a spot at 1,700 ft to dig a pit. There were a few small branches of devil's club but they did not extend into our pits above the basal facets, which did not appear to be the problem persistent weak layer. Prominent BSH was observed intact (see photos). Interesting test pit results!

Snow pit: 1,700 ft, W, 30 degrees, ski penetration 25 cm, boot penetration 60 cm, HS = 105 cm.

F 6-12 mm BSH
F (variable layers due to vegetation)
F 1-2 mm basal facets

Shovel tilt: very easy shear on new/old snow interface (1 tap X 2)
ECTN 10, 14, 2 PC on new/snow interface
PST 15/100 END on BSH layer
PST 15/100 SF on BSH layer
ECTN 17 on BSH layer

Photos & Video
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