Observation: Turnagain

Location: Spokane Creek

Route & General Observations

We toured up Spokane Creek to take a look at some upper elevation north-facing terrain. On the way in we noticed a lot of wet loose activity on the steep south-facing slopes off of the Lipps ridgeline, and dry loose debris on the steep north-facing terrain off Pete’s North. We climbed a north-facing bowl to the ridgeline at around 3900′, digging two snowpits and multiple hand pits along the way. We didn’t see any signs for concern where we traveled, and felt comfortable climbing and skiing some steeper terrain in a bowl where a huge chunk of cornice had broken off and trundled through the bowl with out making an avalanche.

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

Skies were mostly cloudy in the morning, but the clouds broke up mid-day and gave way to partly sunny skies with some thin mid-level clouds moving in and out. Temperatures were warm enough to soften surface crusts by the time we were headed out around 3:00. Winds were calm.

Snow surface

Supportable crust up to about 2000', with some soft snow still to be found on the most shaded terrain. 4-6" soft snow at upper elevations, with no buried crust on northerly slopes. Surface crusts softened enough for good skiing all the way down to the parking lot this afternoon.


The 3/30 storm interface was around 10" deep in this area, much shallower than the north end of Turnagain Pass. We were able to get very stubborn but clean hand shears at lower elevations where this week's snow is sitting on a crust, but did not see any cause for concern on northerly slopes where that older crust never formed. We did not get any concerning test results in either of our pits (N aspect, 3300' and NE aspect, 3700'). The only avalanche activity we noticed was widespread wet loose on steep southerly aspects, and some recent natural dry loose on steep northerlies. See attached snowpilot profile for snowpack details.

Photos & Video
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