Observation: Turnagain

Location: Johnson Pass area

Route & General Observations

We rode several miles up toward Johnson Pass then skinned into terrain south of Pete’s South ridge. The goal was to look at the snowpack in this area that is typically thinner and a bit different to Turnagain Pass.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No signs of instability were seen.

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

Temperature at the trailhead was about 25 degrees. The fog cleared out over the pass and we had great visibility and partly cloudy skies. There was no observed wind at any point.

Snow surface

There was about 2 inches of light snow on top of a 2-3cm breakable melt freeze crust at 1,000'. The crust because thinner with elevation and diminished completely around 1,600'. At this point the snow was soft settled powder and made for some fun skiing.


We dug a pit on the west slope of the ridge at 2300'. We observed soft surface snow that increased in hardness gradually. Total snow depth was 6 feet. We dug about 3' down and noticed two layers of buried surface hoar. One of these layers was buried 2 ft deep with crystals/feathers about 8-10mm in size. This is the layer that caused many human triggered avalanches two weeks ago. The second layer was about 1' deep with much smaller surface hoar feathers (about 2-3mm). During our ECT test neither of the layers showed any signs of reactivity.

Photos & Video
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