Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Pete’s North

Route & General Observations

Skinned up the usual skin track, about 2-3 inches of new snow. Some wind affected snow on west/northwest facing slopes

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect West Northwest
Elevation 2200ftSlope Angle 37deg
Crown Depth 10inWidth 45ft
Vertical Run 350ft  
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried?0
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Avalanche Details

Skiing down to the top of the tree line. Stopped on the side of a steeper feature to quickly evaluate terrain before heading down. Considered for a second to go or not as it was steeper there and in a clear open area but complacency kicked in and I ignored the visual signs of a fresh wind slab. As I committed to my first turn, felt movement underneath and heard my partner calling my name. I immediately realized I got caught and anchored myself using the edge of the ski on the bed surface and stopped moving down. Snow washed around my right arm and shoulder for 2-3 seconds as I leaned in the slope while the slide continued beneath me for another 250ft before stopping. It was not deep enough to buried neither heavy enough to make me loose balance luckily.

Events of the day

We had done one lap below the tree line by that point in the day and had already skied close to the area that slid. Neither me or my partner had noticed any instability. Except for some localized sections of wind affected snow it was great riding conditions. As I stopped to evaluate terrain I should’ve slowed down the decision making to integrate what I knew from recent obs and the avy forecast with my observations in the moment before committing to the first turn.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No shooting cracks or whoompfing.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Temp in high teens to low 20s
Light snow
Light to moderate winds

Snow surface

2~4” of new snow, signs of wind transport on some sections around open areas below tree line as well as alpine.


Travel above skin track test showed bond between old snow and new snow was not consolidated in some wind affected areas. Ski pole test revealed a crust where new snow was thinner.

Photos & Video
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