Observation: Turnagain

Location: Cornbiscuit

Route & General Observations

Toured up to about 3000′ on Cornbiscuit. Overall we did not find any alarming results in the snow pits we dug, and the only recent avalanche activity we observed were the widespread glide avalanche releases on the SW face of Cornbiscuit and along Seattle Ridge.

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

Chilly day with temps in the single digits at the parking lot and warming up to the teens at upper elevations. Winds were light and there was a layer of valley fog hanging out around 1500'.

Snow surface

There was surface hoar on the surface at all elevations, the surfaec hoar crystals were smaller and covered in rime at lower elevations. Below 1500' there was a melt freeze crust about 1-2" thick with a few inches of new snow on top. The crust was barely supportable on our descent. Above 1500' the surface was about 6-10" of soft snow. Along the upper ridgelines the snow surface was wind affected and felt hollow and punchy while breaking trail.


We dug two snowpits, one at 2000' and one at 2800'. The snowpack was about 6' deep in both locations with the Thanksgiving crust buried 4.5' deep. We had failures about a foot deep (30 cm) in our extended column test with moderate force (ECT N 11, 18), but did not have propagation. This layer acted similarly in both pit locations. There is a hardness change at this depth which could be due to changes in temperature or wind during the storm this past weekend. Otherwise the snowpack looked mostly homogeneous and right side up.

Photos & Video
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