Observation: Turnagain

Location: Magnum

Route & General Observations

Magnum to 3300′

Red Flags
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Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Small skier triggered sluffs on Sunburst - see photo below. These didn't run too far, and weren't widespread, only occurring on steep slopes.

Light to moderate snow transport observed on a tall ridgeline/peak that lies on the west side of Seattle Creek, well north of Magnum. See photo below.

Small previous natural loose snow/slabs observed on the north aspect of Cornbiscuit and in gullies along Seattle Ridge, likely from 1/13 and 1/14.

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

Few -> Broken skies with high clouds
Calm at the ridgeline and parking area, but light north winds between 2000 and 3000'.
Cold at the parking lot - guessing single digits - warming up to the teens up high!

Snow surface

Surface hoar was present at low and high(elevations.... 3-6mm below 2000' and 1-3mm above 3000'. It may have been present at mid elevations but it wasn't obvious to the naked eye. Ski penetration of 4-6" at treeline, and slightly less in the alpine... 3-5"... but soft snow along the entire route!


Probed from 3000 - 3200' on the standard SW to W uptrack, and found the New Year's Crust was buried with slightly less snow than Tincan earlier in the weekend, but also at a more consistent depth of 40 - 50cm. Outliers ranged from 5cm near the ridgeline on a generally wind scoured bench, to 90cm in more wind protected locations.

Dug a pit at 3200', ~100' below the ridgeline at what felt to be a representative spot for PMS bowl. As observed on 1/2 at Sunburst, at this upper elevation we found the New Year's Crust to have a great deal of variation in thickness and structure even in the pit wall, and a series of melt freeze crusts and ice lenses were present - discontinuous, and occasionally with some softer faceted snow around them - now roughly between 40-80cm down from the surface. See photo below for pit results and wall structure.

Photos & Video
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