Observation: Turnagain

Location: Magnum - PMS Bowl

Route & General Observations

We toured up to PMS bowl to get eyes on a new piece of terrain for the season and take a look at the snowpack in an area relatively close to where skiers have been triggering avalanches in the past week. We dug two pits (2400′ and 3200′) and did not notice any concerning layers. This demonstrates the spotty distribution of the weak layers we are dealing with- while skiers have been triggering, and really suggests that the snowpack needs to be assessed on a slope by slope basis if you are trying to get into steep terrain in the alpine.

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

Weather was cold, clear, and calm. Temps were around -8 F in the parking lot, but felt much warmer at higher elevations. The occasional light northerly breeze really had a bite to it.

Snow surface

The upper foot or so of the snow has changed into facets during this stretch of cold and clear weather.


We dug two pits (one at 2400' and one at 3200') looking for the 11/13 surface hoar and assessing the old snow at the ground. We did not see any concerning signs in either of our two pits- despite the fact that skiers triggered avalanches in nearby Goldpan as recently as one day prior. This suggests two things- 1. the weak layers are more problematic at higher elevations, and 2. the distribution of the surface hoar layer is spotty and difficult to predict. See attached photo for detailed snowpit information.

Photos & Video
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