Observation: Turnagain

Location: Magnum/Cornbiscuit

Route & General Observations

We skied up Cornbiscuit, back to Super Bowl, and over to Magnum to dig a bunch of pits and look at the problematic setup that has been responsible for all of the massive avalanches recently. We found the same poor structure in this slice of terrain that we have been seeing across the advisory area- a deep hard slab sitting on top of weak facets. It was tricky route finding today, and we were very careful to stay on low-angle terrain and minimize our overhead exposure. The setup is scary and frustrating, and we’re feeling stuck to low angle terrain for now.

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

Skies were mostly cloudy this morning, clearing during the early afternoon and clouds building back in later in the day. Winds were calm and there was no precip while we were out.

Snow surface

There was a trace to 2" new snow from the past 24 hours. South-facing slopes had a supportable crust that went up to at least 3000' and likely to ridgetops based on the evidence of recent wet loose avalanches. West and north-facing slopes were still dry with ~6" soft snow getting progressively stiffer.


In 4 pits on 3 aspects, we found a weak layer of facets buried 3-4' deep under a hard slab. On the southerly slopes, this facet layer was sitting right under a pencil-hard melt/freeze crust. On the westerly and northerly slopes the snowpack did not have any buried crusts. This depth of this layer is pushing the limits of what we can efffectively test for with our stability tests, but that weak setup combined with all of the recent activity is all the info we needed to be really careful with our route finding today.

See attached photos and video for detailed snowpack information.

Photos & Video
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