Observation: Turnagain

Location: Lynx Creek

Route & General Observations

We rode up Lynx to get an eye on conditions following this week’s wind. We saw debris from a handful of older avalanches, but the only fresh activity was a really small pocket that was triggered by a snowmachine and released in a steep gulley. We made it to a high point of around 3700′ and dug a pit on a southeast aspect at 3000′ with no alarming results.

We felt good enough about stability today to ride and ski in steep terrain, but we were careful to travel one at a time, keeping eyes on each other as much as possible and maintaining comms over radios throughout the day. Our main concerns looking forward will be wet loose activity with the approaching warm spell, and a smaller possibility of more small slabs releasing in the upper snowpack.

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
Observer Comments

We saw one very small avalanche that was triggered by a snowmachine in a steep east-facing gulley. The slab that released was maybe 20' wide and ran about 50'. It looked like it was less than a footy deep and was not big enough to bury a person.

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

Mostly sunny skies with some high clouds moving in in the afternoon. Winds were light out of the east, with temperatures in the single digits in the parking lot this morning, but feeling like mid 20's once we got up high.

Snow surface

Variable, with a lot of punchy old wind slabs, and some recycled pow (near-surface facets) that was really good skiing and riding. In general, snow quality was higher at lower elevations and more challenging above 3000' or so.


We didn't see any alarming signs while we were out today. From what we could tell, the most recent avalanche activity was several days old and was confined to new and windblown snow. The only fresh avalanche (mentioned above) would not have been big enough to bury a person. We dug a pit on a SE aspect at about 3000' and did not get any unstable test results. We found one layer of buried near-surface facets about 2' deep that was rounding (gaining strength) and did not propagate in our stability test (ECTN22).

We heard from one other group riding in the area that a cornice fall triggered a wind slab that entrained a good amount of debris over on Captain's Chair. This was a few days old.

Photos & Video
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