Observation: Turnagain

Location: Magnum, Treeline

Route & General Observations

Travel was from 900′ to around 2200′ up the drainage between Magnum and Corn Biscuit.

Clear skies above a thick mid-elevation fog band which kept visibility low just above treeline. Temperature was chilly, in the teens F. A light Easterly breeze was blowing down valley.

Signs of Instability:
Recent avalanches – No
Collapsing – No
Cracking – No

Snow Surface Observations:
900-1500′ – Crusty Surfaces
1500-1800′ – Very thin (2mm) crust with 2″ of low density snow on top
1800-2200′ – 3-4″ of low density snow over denser, supportable snow

Snowpack Observations:
Being that this was a Level 2 refresher/Observer Course we had several people digging several pits – which was great!

All pits dug were ~2200′, W to NW facing, around 20-30 degree slope angles. These were on a small knoll with prior wind effect.

General overview-
Total snow depth 100-130cm.
Poor structure (4 lemons), Moderate Strength, High Energy

ECTP teens-20’s Sudden Collapses 70-80cm down in basal facets
PST 37/100, 40/100, 40/100 (end) down 80cm
CT teens Q1-2 down 80cm

All pits except one had the bottom of a 20cm layer of basal facets as the weak layer. The outlier’s weak layer was below the Dec drizzle crust (10cm above the top of the basal facets) which stepped down to the basal facets in tests.

*The basal facets as well as the facets under the Dec drizzle crust appear to be rounding, gaining strength and some bonding was seen in the scope. They were also a little moist. Additionally, the Dec drizzle crust was stuck to the bottom of the slab in most areas and was soft and decomposing. These are good signs for the future, but it is only one small point at 2200′.

Photos & Video
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