Observation: Turnagain

Location: Silvertip Creek

Route & General Observations

Toured up Silvertip Creek to check out what the snowpack looks like on the southern end of the forecast area. We made it up to about 2500′ and dug a pit near treeline at about 2200′. We found the buried weak layer of facets about 2.5′ deep, but did not get any results on the layer in our snowpit tests. We saw some shooting cracks and were careful to navigate around areas with very hollow sounding wind slabs along the ridgeline.

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

Above treeline the ridgeline was pretty wind loaded on the NE aspect and we got a handful of shooting cracks to release on small test slopes.

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

Mostly clear skies in the morning and then turning to overcast in the afternoon. Winds were light in the valley bottom and moderate along the ridge. Temps were chilly in the single digits to teens.

Snow surface

At low elevations there was 3-6" of light new snow on top of a crust. Above about 1500' the crust went away and there was 6-10" of soft snow on the surface. Above treeline there was a lot of wind transported snow ranging from hollow and slabby feeling to very firm styrofoam.


We dug a pit at 2200' on a NE aspect. We found the January facets buried 75 cm deep. They felt more densely packed and less sugary compared to prior pits I have dug in Lynx creek and John Mtn in the past few weeks. Our tests (CT, ECT, PST) had no results on the facet layer. The interface between the soft surface snow and the firmer layer below failed in the CT and ECT but did not propagate (CT 22, ECT N 24).

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.