Observation: Turnagain

Location: Magnum SW aspect

Route & General Observations

Ascended SW aspect of Magnum to 3200′ from Cornbiscuit side

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

None observed today. We did get a better look at the avalanche activity on the N. side of Cornbiscuit that occurred Dec.30th during the big wind event.

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

Clear and sunny
10F at the road, 32F at ridge tops
Light NW winds
No precip

Snow surface

Variable surfaces. Very scoured in the alpine on SW aspects with Sastrugi and a hard supportable crusts in many places. There were some pockets of softer snow in sheltered areas in the alpine. In the mid elevations there was softer snow and places and a 2" breakable wind crust . Ski pen was about 5". New surface hoar growth was found in the mid and lower elevations, but it was still small ~3-5mm.


Dug a few hand pits in the mid elevations and found the Dec.24 buried surface hoar about 1 foot below the surface in all pits below 2500'. It required firm pressure to get it to fail, but still broke with a clean shear. Below 2000' ski poles still poked in easily to ground in some places.

Dug a pit at 3100' on a Southern aspect. I specifically dug in a more sheltered area without the hard 2-4" wind curst on surface. I found a pretty benign snowpack in this location. The snowpack was mostly Pencil to 1F hard snow with the top 4" of 4F snow. The Dec.24 BSH layer was only 5cm below the surface, still intact and standing up. Most of the Xmas storm slab on top had blown away. I also found the Dec.15 layer of BSH, which only failed with firm pressure in shovel shear. It was laid down and really hard to see in pit wall. All other tests had no notable results. CTN x2, ECTX.

Photos & Video
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