Observation: Turnagain

Location: Pyramid

Route & General Observations

We toured up Pyramid today to check out snowpack conditions on the north side of Turnagain Pass and dig a pit below treeline. We dug two pits, one at 950’ and one at 1,510’. We found the same concerning structure that we are finding throughout our forecast areas, but in these specific pits we found good stability.

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

It snowed lightly most of the day, the sky was obscured, temperatures were in the mid 20’sF, and wind was calm.

Snow surface

There was a 4” crust with a trace of new snow on it at the road. There was 1” of new snow over the crust at 600’ and by 700’ the crust was gone, and the surface was soft settled powder.


We dug two pits and found poor structure, but good stability in both. The first pit we dug was at 950’ on a SE aspect. The snow in this location was an astounding 6.6’ deep (205cm). There is about 4’ (120cm) of snow sitting on top of a thick crust with a layer of facets forming on top of the crust. Our stability tests were not concerning in this pit (CT21 Q2 1’ down (30cm) on a hardness change and ECTX).
The second pit was on an east aspect at 1,510’. The total snow here was just over 4’ (130cm). The results included a CT12, CT25, and ECTN 23 all within the new snow from last week and the most recent storm on Saturday (Dec. 16). We couldn’t find any facets above the crust in this pit, however, when I pulled the ECT block from the pit wall after the tests were complete it failed above the crust.

Photos & Video
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