Observation: Turnagain

Location: Pastoral

Route & General Observations

We walked back to Pastoral to take a look at those October facets. We found variable surfaces along the way, with some punchy wind slabs, some firm snow on top, and surprisingly still some soft snow out there. We dug two pits to the ground right next to a path that avalanched about two weeks ago, and were happy to find the facet layer showing signs of gaining strength.


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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

We were able to get a few shooting cracks on isolated slopes.

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

Cold, calm, and clear. It was a beauty! Dead calm on Taylor Pass and up on the Pastoral ridgeline. -6F at the parking lot at about 11:00 a.m., 10F at 3800' at about 1:30.

Snow surface

Variable. Some punchy wind skins, some supportable wind slabs, some soft snow hanging in there. Soft snow on the surface is starting to turn to facets with the continued cold temps and clear skies.


We dug two pits on a NNW aspect at 3800', right next to a slope that avalanched on the ground about two weeks ago (See attached photo and Snow Pilot profile for full details). Key points:

-The October facets are still down there on the ground, but they are gaining strength.
-Wind slabs on the surface may still be a problem on isolated slopes, but they seem to be unreactive for the most part.
-There is still soft snow out there! Good news for skiing, and something to keep in mind whenever the winds pick up again.
-Current surfaces are starting to facet out. Another one to keep in mind when we start getting active weather.

Photos & Video
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