Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunnyside, Above Bertha Creek CG

Route & General Observations

Alaska Avalanche School Level 1 Tour day up to 2500′ to practice travel techniques.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

None observed.

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

Clear skies. Calm winds.
Temperature 0F at parking lot at 11:30am, but it warmed fast as we gained elevation and reached the sunlight. Air temperatures were above freezing at 2500' at 2pm.
No new precipitation.

Snow surface

Surface hoar was mostly knocked down or non existing - unlike observed on the last two days at Center Ridge & Sunburst lower elevations on top of the snowpack.
Variable surface from soft faceted snow to thin wind crust. We did not travel up to the wind hammered locations.
The slopes we skied had had some prior skier traffic.


Shallower snowpack at the southern reaches of the Turnagain Pass. Snow height varied between 20cm to 80 cm. At the thinner areas the basal facets were striated, growing and chaining, but we did not find 3D depth hoar grains.
All in all, very soft and uncohesive snowpack that displayed two talkative layers of concern, Dec 24 buried surface hoar and basal facets. Test results showed poor strength and high propagation propensity. We did not ski the slope, but alder hopped down the way we had ascended.
Pit: 2500', E aspect, slope angle 38deg. HS 70cm. CT7SC@BSH@ 20cm from top. CT20SC@BasalFacets. ECTP4@Basal facets.

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