Observation: Turnagain

Location: Pastoral Center Ridge Peak

Route & General Observations

Saturday: Ventured back to the peak of Center Ridge and skied S & SW facing runs
in a bowl towards the Placer River valley, then the Center Ridge glacier, and
ended with upper Center Ridge NW facing slope on the way out. Several old
avalanches noted along upper Center Ridge’s steep rocky West face, the saddle we
climbed to overlook the Placer River valley, on South Kickstep, and south facing
in the back bowl we skied. Surface hoar evident everywhere on Center Ridge
until the ascent to upper Center Ridge. Large palm-sized crystals in the trees
decreasing in size with elevation gain. Wind appears to have dismantled it
above 2500-3000′. Thin fully faceted snowpack until upper Center Ridge where
there’s more layering with facets near the ground and surface but more cohesive
layers between. We did not experience any red flags. Much deeper , less
faceted snow on the Center Ridge glacier. Calm winds all day – even on the back
ridge overlooking Placer.

Sunday: Went to Pastoral via Sunburst Ridge and skied the NE chute from the
summit to about half way down. There was powder mixed with bare firn in this
upper section – bottom half was bare. We attempted a traverse into the next,
lower chute over to the E but it was windslab on top of facets. We traversed
back across the chute from the summit, got on to the North sub ridge, and found
a nice chalky NW facing run (probably the best turns of the season so far).
Light winds on the Sunburst ridge with significantly stronger winds on Pastoral.
We finished the day back on the Sunburst ridge with soft, deeper, and more
supportable snow up high, but fully faceted snow about 1/2 way down become less
supportable and much thinner towards the valley floor. No red flags noted
throughout the day.