Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Turnagain Road Obs

Route & General Observations

Drove from Girdwood to Summit Lake to take advantage of the clearing skies after another storm pulse moved through the region. We wanted to get some storm snow depths and get an idea how the sudden sun exposure would effect the new snow.

We left Girdwood around 11:30 but did not see any signs of avalanche activity on our drive down to Summit. On our way back, around 12:30 we began to see roller balls and loose snow sluffs initiating from small slopes near the road, a sign that the snow surface was warming. Soon after, widespread wet loose avalanching was occurring on all aspects but mostly on steeper southern slopes.

As we drove back down Turnagain Pass a handful of slab avalanches were visible from the road. The slab avalanches looked to be initiating on wind loaded terrain at the crest of convex rollovers. These slabs were widespread with larger avalanches looking to have initiated in the back bowl between Pete’s North and South and on a sub-ridge of Explorer Glacier.

New snow depth at the road in Summit lake was 13 cm (5″) and 60 cm (2′) at Turnagain pass.

Due to the limited and hazardous nature of parking on the Pass at this time we decided to forgo skiing, seeing the oncoming traffic as the greatest threat of the day. The backcountry was not the only dangerous terrain to try and navigate at that moment.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Last four photos were sent to us by Travis Smith. Thanks Trav!

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
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
Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Broken Clouds with temperatures at the road hanging around 32 - 35˚F

Photos & Video
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