Observation: Turnagain

Location: Pastoral Peak and Sunburst

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)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

-Wet avalanches everywhere. Library is destroyed.
-Sunburst: Wet point releases that entrained a lot of snow on their way down, but did not initiate slab.
-Magnum: North facing couloir off peak. Small windslab pocket appeared to release on its own. Looked maybe 6"-1' deep. Did not propagate far and entrain much snow. 20ft wide, 300ft long?
-Small natural cornice release and ensueing wind slab on the main center ridge on Pastoral. 20ft wide, 150ft long.

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

Mostly Sunny and cold at the start at 730am, to 2 hour period of mostly cloud, to sun for another 3 hours. Then rain on the ski out around 4pm. I'm assuming snow higher up in Taylor Pass.

No new snow, moderate wind on ridge top.

Snow surface

1000ft -walking on dirt for first 50ft at Sunburst parking lot. 8" crust
2000ft - 5" crust becomes easily breakable by bodyweight
2800-3300ft - on Taylor Pass crust decreases to about 1", intermittent pockets of 1"-4" wind blown powder pockets. Wind slabby, but not hollow.
3300-4000ft - Wind affected, and consolidated powder. 3"-9", depending on the wind and solar affect. The more northerly and leeward, the better.
4600ft - Mostly nice, consolidated and wind affected powder. High quality skiing considering the options right now.


Sunburst - pretty bomber, if you get there early. But once it heats up, and that is early, you need to be smart about where you go on that thing.

Pastoral - Its still winter back there. Did 2 CT's, got a CT17, and CT22. Both on top 15cm wind layer. However our pit was only 50ft below the summit, and more heavily wind affected.

Made many hard ski cuts and jumped on the snowpack, nothing slid. Over our combined 6 runs, there were no slides.

However, slough runs fast on the surface! So be mindful in committing terrain! Check out the video of @seangotexchangeagram to see what happens when it goes wrong!

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.