Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Magnum/Sunburst

Route & General Observations

aai/aas pro 2 course started at sunburst parking lot and followed the standard up track. we crossed taylor creek at the top of the alders and started up the nw shoulder of magnum. after encountering obvious signs of instability at 2300′ we retreated back to sunburst.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect West Northwest
Elevation 3300ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

two natural avalanches observed from the parking lot after the tour. light was tricky for full details. slides iniciated on the lee side of the nw magnum ridge, both within the upper few hundred feet of the mountain. likely wind slab, d1-d1.5.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

climbing the nw ridge we had collapsing and a long shooting crack on the lee side of the ridge around 2300'.

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

temps just above freezing at the parking lot with a light wintery mix falling from overcast skies and light winds at 1300.
as we gained elevation temps hovered around freezing with intermittent snowfall and light winds.

Snow surface

rain had broken down the nasty crusts at lower elevations and made for a sticky skin track. wet snow clung to the trees starting around 1500' with 10-20cm of moist new snow at 2300'.


we dug five pits between 2300'-2400' on west aspect around the standard sunburst up track. hs ranged between 140-160 cm with hn between 5-20 cm. all locations found a right side up snowpack with only one able to identify the 12/25 bsh. all pits had non-propagating ect results with failures confined to the new/old snow interface. our primary layer of concern continues to be in the upper pack and the surface snow.

Photos & Video
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