Region: Turnagain
Location: Magnum

Route & General Observations

Ascended Magnum from the SW side to 3400′

Red Flags

Observer Comments

We didn't observe any reflags warning signs today.

Cornices features were large and could see lots of cornice chunks that broke off over the last 2 weeks of stormy weather. A large cornice crack was present along Magnum's W ridge. See photo below.

Several recent glide cracks are opening up on Seattle's E aspect, Tincan's S aspect, and Lipps S aspect. All were below 3000'.



Sunny, clear skies
Light winds from the West
No precip
Visibility was excellent

Snow Characteristics

Snow surface

1000-1350' - Supportable crust at 1000' both skis/boot, Crust is 3" thick at 1000' and 1" thick at 1350'
1350'-1850' - Crust becomes covered by low density snow, 1cm at 1350' and 5" at 1800'. Crust under low density snow becomes thinner and disappears by 1850'
2000-3000' - Low density snow with areas of wind hardened snow. Snow is dense and grabby in places.
3000-3400' - Ridgeline is scoured

*Moist snow was found below crust to about 1500'.

*Surface hoar was found growing at all elevations. It was larger and more developed (~4mm) at higher elevations.


In general we found a mostly stable snowpack. We dug a pit at 2400' looking for evidence of any buried surface hoar or near surface facets from Dec.21-24th. We did not find either. We dug to the Thanksgiving crust, but it was too deep to perform any tests.

Average height of snow at 2400' was 220cm.

Pit at 2400', WSW aspect. 27* slope, HS=225cm, Thanksgiving crust was 170cm (5.5') below the surface. On top of it were 1F hard 2mm sized loose melt/freeze grains. Snow above these loose m/f grains was Pencil hard. Above was mostly right side up snow with the exception of several density changes within the top 2.5' of snow. All new snow from last storm cycle. Test results did not show any propagation potential (ECTX.) CT16 Q2 1.5' below surface and CT23 Q2 at 2' below surface.

Hand sheer tests were easy to moderate in places where the snow surface felt denser and wind hardened. Most hand sheers did not have a clean sheer with the exception of a few in the low valley. Failure occurred on density changes within new snow.

Photos & Video


If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email
© 2019 Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
If you think a public avalanche
center is important then we urge
you to become a member & donate.