Observation: Turnagain

Location: Cornbiscuit

Route & General Observations

Quick midday dog walk up to alder line on Cornbiscuit. I wanted to see how the recent snow, wind, and warm temps have affected the upper snowpack.
I was surprised by how much wind transport was happening despite the snow being so sticky. Lots of snow blowing across the surface. I could see small new cornices actively forming on terrain features as I skinned by. I tested one of these cornices, it broke with just one ski step, in big cohesive chunks.
If there was any recent natural avalanche activity I wasn’t able to see it through the thick clouds.

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

37F and drizzly-mist in the parking lot at 900ft. Cloud level was well below the summits, visibility was bad.
Winds 10-25mph from NNE while I was on W or NW aspects. Wind dropped to 0-5mph when I wrapped to a SW aspect. (Sunburst weather station measured 30-50+ mph from the ENE during the time I was out).
Rain turned "frozen precip" at 1300ft, and something resembling snow at 1500ft. But, I don't think the air temperature ever dropped below freezing during my tour.

Snow surface

wet and wind blown


I dug a pit at 2000ft on a West aspect, 30deg slope.
Height of snow 280cm, pit depth 100cm.
CT16 RP and ECTN15 at a density change 50cm down.
Using a shovel pry, the top 5cm of snow easily sheared on a plane.

Photos & Video
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