Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Pete's North

Route & General Observations

We toured up to about 2500′, digging two pits at 1600′ and one more at 2300′. There was only 1-2″ new snow from last night, which was drifted into 3-5″ in the deeper spots above treeline. No red flags or alarming pit results where we were, but we did see one small skier-triggered avalanche on the front side of Eddie’s as we were driving back to Girdwood in the afternoon (photos attached).

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect West Southwest
Elevation 1900ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 12inWidth 150ft
Vertical Run 50ft  
Avalanche Details

Viewed from road, so dimensions are rough. 3 sets of ski tracks on the slope, it looked like the first skier triggered the slope from above and then everyone skied the bed surface. 3 tracks going in, 3 coming out, so it looks like nobody caught or carried/buried. Depth looked like it was at the new/old interface, and we could see a wind-textured surface from the road so it was most likely wind loaded.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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The sun was in and out all day, with some periods of bountiful sunshine, and others of complete vertigo. Winds were light out of the northeast with moderate gusts. Light snow on and off all day, but not enough to add up to any significant accumulation.

Snow surface

1-2" new snow from last night, drifted into 3-5" thick soft slabs in some areas and scoured down to old tracks in others. Surprisingly good ski quality for so little new snow!

The new snow became moist and sticky within about 15 min of the sun poking out around noon. The sun is packing a punch again.


We dug deep in our first set of pits at 1600', finding the Halloween crust almost 6' deep, the November facets about 5' deep, the New Year's crust 3-4' deep, and a layer of small buried surface hoar on top of a crust just 2" deep. No alarming stability test results. (More info in attached snowpit profile).

We also dug a quick test pit at 2300', and did not get any unstable results. In this pit the new snow was about 4" deep, and we did not see that buried surface hoar.

We stomped around on some small cornices on micro terrain features. They were breaking easily and propagating 5-10', pushing the new snow with them but not triggering any kind of slabs.

Photos & Video
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