Observation: Turnagain

Location: Treeline between Little Switzerland and Gods Country

Route & General Observations

Short tour up the powerline, through the trees, popping up above treeline on a warm sunny day. Noticeable solar affect on the snow on SE aspects above treeline.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

Observed some small roller balls coming off near trees, alders, and a skin track on terrain approx. 35 degrees in the afternoon sun. When dragging pole through moistened surface snow it could clump and drag in a more cohesive unit along the top 2 inches.

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

Warm spring time sunshine! A few small isolated clouds. Calm wind.

Snow surface

Settled powder found in some shaded aspects below treeline that were not affected by moist snow rolling off trees warmed in the sun. 1-2 mm surface hour found below treeline. Moist snow in sun affected areas above treeline. The previously solar warmed areas that had become shaded in the afternoon had developed a 2 inch breakable melt-freeze crust. Ski tracks down steep slopes had decent (~5 ft long) sluffing coming off each turn.


Pole probed often along route, which revealed two melt freeze crusts. The top crust was very stout and difficult to penetrate or saw through for hand pits. First hand pit in a sunny alder path out of the trees failed on buried surface hour that was hard to get to go, requiring both hands. BSH was approx 1.5 ft down and appeared to be metamorphisizing via melt freeze or rounding. The BSH was approx. 1/2 inch long, standing intact, and looked to have melted along the edges.

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.