Observation: Turnagain, Girdwood

Location: Taylor Creek

Route & General Observations

Ascended Taylor Creek to 2500′. Due to multiple nights of above freezing temperatures in the mid elevation zone, our objective was to monitor surface conditions with¬†elevation. We found very moist unsupportable snow below 2000′.

There are many new glide avalanche throughout Turnagain Pass that occurred within the last 24 hours. One glide released while we were touring in Taylor Creek. It was out of our view when it released, and visibility was obscured when it occurred. Another party reported it sounding like a jet flying overhead.

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

Glide Avalanches with the last 24 hours:
Turnagain Pass: At least 5 new glide avalanche on E face of Seattle Ridge, Tincan (N aspect and SW aspect,) Pete's South (SW face)
Girdwood: South Face of Raggedtop
Turnagain Arm: Penguin SW, Pyramid N, Centerline SW

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

Scattered showers - overcast w/ patches of sun
30F's - mid 40F's
Winds 10-15mph from NE
~1cm new snow above 2000'

Snow surface

1000' - Boot pen=Thigh high, Ski Pen~8"
1500' - Boot pen=Thigh high, Ski Pen~8"
2000' - Boot Pen=Knee high, Supportable crust on skis
2500' - Boot Pen= Ankle High, Supportable crust on skis

*In general the snow conditions below 1800' are becoming isothermal and the snow has been significantly losing its strength. There is potential on steep slopes below 1800' to triggered wet loose avalanches that could be very difficult to escape. The only thing that will help the stability at this elevation is freezing temps to help create a supportable crust. Monitor the surface conditions for unsupportable snow and avoid steep terrain if you posthole up to your thigh, or your skis or snow machine are sinking deep into the wet snow.


Dug a pit at 2500' on NNE aspect in Taylor Creek: Top 10cm moist melt/freeze crust on ~20cm of moist melt forms. Snow below was this was moist rounds. See photo

Yesterday dug at 3000' on NNE aspect on Sunburst: Top 5cm is m/f crust on mostly dry snow below. Found a 3cm m/f crust ~20cm below the surface. See photo

Photos & Video
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