Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Spokane Creek

Route & General Observations

We toured up Spokane Creek, seeing how warm the snowpack has gotten and tracking the layer of surface hoar that turned a group around last Saturday. There was little or no refreeze last night, but the previously rock-hard surfaces following this week’s wind event have taken a longer time to melt than what we’d normally expect to see with three days of no refreezea and made for a few good laps in the sun in the middle of the day. High north snow is still cold and dry, but everything has been hit hard by the wind. We noticed a lot of new glide cracks from Girdwood to Turnagain Pass and a handfull of new glide avalanches on Seattle Ridge.

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger UnknownRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Multiple new glide avalanches on Penguin Ridge, Raggedtop, and Seattle Ridge.

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

Surfaces were getting very wet and sloppy up to ridgetops on south, east and west aspects, and below around 2500' on northerly aspects later in the day.

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

Warm and mostly cloudy, with some extended periods of sun. Winds died down through the day and were calm to light out of the east this afternoon.

Snow surface

We found wet snow up to 3000' on all aspects that was still firm enough for good skiing in the morning, but was starting to get pretty sloppy later in the day. The firm snow that had been blasted by winds earlier in the week actually made for some decent skiing before things started getting too hot later in the day. Not quite corn, but getting there. North-facing slopes above 3000' still have a totally dry snowpack, but surfaces are pretty firm following the wind.


It's looking more and more like spring now. The southerly slopes have been melting without a good freeze for three nights now. The surfaces were soft but still in good shape until around 3:300, but started getting hot and sloppy later in the day. Northerly slopes are still almost entirely dry, and we were surprised to find a layer of surface hoar about 6" down that was very reactive in our pit (ECTP11 with a very clean shear). It is not likely this layer is very widespread, but it is something we'll be assessing for before committing to big terrain.

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.