Observation: Turnagain

Location: Turnagain Pass - valley bottoms

Route & General Observations

Rode from Turnagain Pass to Johnson Pass along the winter trail to take a look at the new snow amounts (12-16″ new from 10am to 5pm!). We could not see the bottom of any avalanche paths due to the heavy snowfall and poor visibility.

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

Heavy snowfall was our big sign of instability.

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

Heavy snowfall and obscured skies. Rain was falling around 2-300' on our drive down the Pass around 530pm (snow was falling earlier in the day to sea level).
Temps were 30-32F at 1,000'.
We were in the valley bottom and in the trees and did not have any wind.

Snow surface

12-16" of new low density, but moist, snow from this morning to 5pm. It was still snowing hard when we left.


Today's snow fell on a foot of new snow from yesterday (Friday) and another foot(ish) from Wednesday. Because rain and/or wet snow fell up to 1,000' ish there was a crust on top of Friday's snow that was a marker for how much snow fell today (Saturday). The snow from Friday and Wednesday has been settling several inches.

Under the 3-4' of new snow (beginning on Wednesday) was old faceted snow where we were. We know from before the storm that these facets along with wind hardened snow exists on shady slopes while a slick sun crust is under all this new snow on south, east, and west aspects.

Due to the difficult travel conditions (deep snow), high avalanche danger, and whiteout skies, we stayed in the flats and it is unknown what kind of avalanche activity is taking place.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.