Observation: Turnagain

Location: Lynx Creek Drainage

Route & General Observations

Rode into Lynx Ck drainage to see how the snowpack is faring in this zone. Typically this area is thinner and can harbor more buried weak layers. We also wanted to take stock of any recent avalanches. High point today was 3,200′.

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

Strong NW winds along the ridgelines. We did some small wind slabs triggered just off the higher ridgelines by the winds but they did not run very far and stopped mid-slope.

An older looking slab was seen on the headwall of Lynx Ck. Photo below.

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

Sunny skies.
Strong NW winds on ridges and peaks, moderate winds just above treeline.
Temps in the teens.

Snow surface

Soft settled powder with varying degrees of wind effect. Mid elevations were generally still soft while the higher elevations were definitely seeing a lot of wind scouring and loading.


We dug at two elevations to target as best we could areas most likely to have unstable snow.
Pit 1: E aspect at 3,200', total snow depth 160-250cm (5-8')
Depth of pit 4', ECTX - meaning we could not get any failures in the top 3'. We did see a layer of buried surface hoar 8" down and another, presumed to be the 1/10 buried surface hoar, around 2.5' down. We could not get either layer to fail.

Pit 2: N aspect at 2,000', total snow depth 180cm (~6')
Depth of pit 4' again, ECTN 29 down 45cm (18") on a layer of small surface hoar and weaker stellars. This failure took a lot of force and did not propagate.
The 1/10 buried surface was around 3' deep and did not react.

Bottom line: as far as buried weak layer go, we could not find anything concerning in our two pits. For surface instabilities however, the wind slabs occurring at higher elevations clearly were an issue.

Photos & Video
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