Observation: Turnagain

Location: Center Ridge

Route & General Observations

General basic route through tree line and next to Lion Creek up to the Center Ridge Snotel. General observations included a fairly deep snow pack while traveling. All alders are covered and well buried. Very protected and not wind affected at all in the tree line.

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

We saw no signs of instability. Moderate winds through out the day mostly out of the East

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

S-1 to S1 almost all day. East winds with light winds gusting into moderate speeds at 20mph. Temperature stayed in the 20's all day.

Snow surface

Snow surface was smooth, and good quality powder in the tree line and through our entire route.

However in the high alpine. You can see some serious wind effect/ snow stripped from Sunburst and Seattle ridge and the tops. That snow got transported and went somewhere!


The main objective today for the Avalanche course was snowpack study, digging pits and layer ID. From our route and our location in the tree line and protected area we did not expect to be able to find much for a wind slab which was one of the forecast avalanche problems for the day. When we dug our pits we then focused on looking at how the most recent storm snow was bonding and what effects it was having on the 12/1 rain crust that was reported to be 1-3' down. We did snow pits in two locations:

Our first location was at 1,400 feet on a SW aspect and 28 degree slope. HS in the region was 180 cm. We all dug to 150 cm down and got matching results in our CT tests. CT24 Q2 down 123cm, CT23 Q2 down 120 cm, CT19 Q2 down 105 cm. All ECT test resulted in ECTX
What we think is the 12/1 rain crust that is often talked about varied in thickness/size. Its hardness level was pencil in most pits. We saw this layer 10 cm thick to 25 cm thick in some spots. Most of the failures were under the rain crust on some facets, but also failed in the middle of the rain crust layer we noticed.

Our second location was at 2,000 feet on a west aspect and 25 degree slope. HS in this region was 200 cm.
We found same thing: CT13 Q2 down 110 cm, CT24 Q2 down 135 cm all on the rain crust. ECTX for the tests in this region too.

So with this information we think that its pretty interesting to see it reactive and noticing how big of a slab(s) are sitting on top of it. However taking note that we could not get any results in multiple ECT tests and only in CT tests. Great snow in the trees and the low <. skiing was super fun!