Observation: Turnagain

Location: East side of Pyramid peak

Route & General Observations

This pit profile shows just the top 60 cm of the snowpack. Total depth was about 250cm, and
we have no concerns with the layers deeper than this pit diagram, which get progressively
stronger as you dig deeper.

We dug in this spot because we got a collapse while skinning up on the supportable stiff wind
slab. The stiff nature of this surface was not common, most of the areas we saw were either
loose or semi-stiff but not supportable.

During an extended column test there were two layers of concern.
1. Just under the stiff surface snow at 15cm we got a propagation to occur but the slab
2. We also got a propagation to occur above the top sun crust at 45cm. This was the ECTP 12
failure. This shows moderate strength, with the ability to propagate. The column failed in a
resistant planar fashion and didn’t move significantly.

If you were to find this combination of stiff wind slab on a slope steeper than 35 degrees with consequences below, it could be a dangerous problem.

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