Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Road Obs- Turnagain Pass

Route & General Observations

Drove through Turnagain Pass around 11am to Summit Lake. Returned from Summit Lake through Turnagain Pass around 3:30pm and then drove through Portage Valley. Saw a new crown on the NW shoulder of Sunburst, that occurred mid-day and was likely remotely triggered from the skin track on the ridge. It was shallow, but had wide propagation. See photo below.  “Whumpfing” in and around the alders below Seattle Ridge and a small pocket, 2′ deep avalanched and was reported by a snowmachiner. Numerous natural avalanches occurred mid/late storm in very steep channeled terrain. Indicator Path across the Turnagain Arm, Five Sisters in Portage Valley, both of these all ran to sea level. The West face of Moose Mountain also had new debris in several steep chutes.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger UnknownRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Northwest
Elevation 2500ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidth 250ft
Vertical Run 250ft  
Avalanche Details

This avalanche occurred sometime between 11am today and mid-day when it was noticed. The skin track goes along the ridge behind it, which makes it very likely that this was remotely triggered.

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)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Avalanche NW shoulder of Sunburst- see details above
Wumpfing was reported in Turnagain Pass by a snowmachiner riding near alders
Cracking was observed today on Tenderfoot

Natural activity that occurred some time mid-storm including debris in numerous steep chanelled paths seen from the Seward Hwy, and Portage Rd. The largest ones were Indicator Path across Turnagain Arm and Five Sisters in Portage that ran close to sea level.

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

Overcast with scattered snow showers above 1000' and rain showers below
32F along the Seward Hwy at 4pm
Light winds


Observed depths of recent storm snow (12/24-12/26)
Turnagain Pass Motorized lot ~ 2'
Turnagain Pass Sunburst lot ~ 1.5'
Johnson Pass N trail head ~6"
Summit Lake Lodge ~4"
Portage - Rain
Upper Crow Creek Road ~3"

Photos & Video
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