Observation: Turnagain

Location: Superbowl

Route & General Observations

Superbowl up to 3,600′

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

Very shallow natural pt releases in terrain over 45 degrees. Volume is too low to be of concern.

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

Mild temps, light East winds, increasing clouds throughout the day, occasional flurries with no accumulation

Snow surface

3-5” of low density snow above 3,000’ sitting on firm surfaces
1-2” of medium density snow sitting on crust below 3,000’
little to no snow coverage between 1,000-1,800’
minimal sluffing in terrain up to 45 degrees


We focused our attention on the snowpack in the Alpine today, with 5 pits total. We did extensive testing to assess the Jan facet layer reactivity and to make sure we weren’t missing other intermediate weak layers. We found generally non reactive snow in the upper meter of the snowpack.

Read below for more info:

WNW Aspect - Superbowl headwall
#1 - 3,300’ - 30 deg
#2 - 3,400’ - 35 deg
#3 - 3,500’ - 45 deg

Great variation in height of snow in these 3 pits, ranging from 400cm at the bottom to 90cm at the upper pit. No remarkable results. The Jan facets are hard to distinguish in the pit wall and we had no results on this layer. The most shallow pit at 3,500’ was where one might expect to find reactive snow (thinner slab) showed an old slab lacking enough cohesion and ability to propagate a fracture.

N Aspect - Corner Pocket
#1 - 3,200’ - 40 deg
#2 - 3,400’ - 45 deg

Height of snow varied here as well with the lower pit @ 250cm and the upper pit @ 130cm. Similar results to the headwall. 1 test in the lower pit yielded ECTP 29 RP - 70 cm down on the Jan facets - high strength with moderate propagation potential. This was the only result out of 16 tests that showed propagation potential.

Photos & Video
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