Observation: Turnagain

Location: Turnagain Pass

Route & General Observations

Alaska Avalanche School – Rec Level 2 course: General observations from the last two days in Turnagain Pass.
Locations: Sunburst, Center Ridge, Tincan and Eddies
2,100-2,400 ft highest elevations reached

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

No red flags observed.
No travel above 2,100-2,400 ft elevation.

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

Jan 5th - clear sky, valley fog to 800-900 ft, slight inversion, calm to light east wind, temps in low 20's.
Jan 6th - Overcast > broken > overcast, calm wind, air temp near freezing

Snow surface

Decomposed new snow starting to round, 2-3mm surface hoar on surface up to 2200' on 1/5.
Thin but supportable rain crust ~15cm below surface


Several snowpits dug around the 2,000 ft elevation line over the last two days.
Buried Surface Hoar is layer of concern ~60cm below the surface.
Results throughout groups varied from ECTN and ECTX to ECTP21-25 on the surface hoar layer.
Sunburst and Center Ridge had propagation on most pits, where as Tincan and Eddies had only one ECTP with all other pits ECTN or ECTX on the surface hoar layer.
Note we did not travel above the 2,100-2,400 elevation band.