Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Pete's North

Route & General Observations

Toured from Johnson Pass trailhead to Pete’s North and did several laps.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Northwest
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 8inWidth 30ft
Vertical Run 250ft  
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried?0
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Avalanche Details

After several incident-free runs on the most commonly skied south side of Pete's North, we exited through the NW slope, trending slightly skiers right away from the trees on the shoulder. In part due to deteriorating visibility, I unintentionally skied off a small cliff, ejecting from one ski on landing and triggering a shallow storm/wind slab that had built over the course of the day in the slight convexity at the base of the cliff. In this particular area, the buried rain crust has stayed stout rather than decomposing, causing a relatively long run that petered out before the mellow clearing at the bottom. I slid about 5-10 feet, due more to the slope angle than the actual moving snow, and stopped quickly without needing to trigger my airbag. No injury or lost equipment.

Events of the day

The new snow combined with a light easterly wind is behaving about as expected. We discussed what the avalanche danger in the area might be both before and along the route, and felt comfortable with our decision-making throughout.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Heavy snowfall throughout tour.

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

Temperatures remained in the high 20s throughout, with a fairly light easterly wind. Precipitation was S1 when we left the car, closer to S2 at 4 pm when we returned. Approximately 6 inches of new snow fell over the course of the tour. Visibility was poor throughout and deteriorated significantly as the snowfall became heavier.

Snow surface

Close to a foot of new snow from yesterday and today, with little to no wind affect.


Hand-pits along the route suggested that the new snow wasn't bonding well to the old surface, but that the old rain crust is decomposing in most areas and is quite stout and disinclined to propagate.

Photos & Video
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