Observation: Turnagain

Location: Pete's South West Ridge

Route & General Observations

Sunday 3/4, got a 10:30 am start in bright sun from The Johnson Pass Lot and
headed up the direct route West Route on Petes South with the sound of
helicopters buzzing in the valley. On the ascent I cut off the trail and
jumped on various steeper rollovers without any results except a little
sluffing of unconsolidated snow. Once the tour trended steeper near tree line
at 2800 ft I stopped and dug a pit on a 35 deg WSW aspect, snow pack depth was
more than 4m at the site of the pit. The top 12 cm of fresh snow was composed
of unbroken crystals 3+mm in size (see picture). The snow pack in the pit was
right side up trending from fist+ at the surface to finger- in the top 120 cm.
Of note in the pit were paper thin crusts at 40 cm and 80cm and the density and
grain size difference between the new snow from Sat. 3/3 with whole complete
3mm+ crystals and the slightly older decomposing snow with a 1mm grain size
that were more tightly packed but still Fist. The CT yielded a CT25 Q3 at 40
cm on a paper thin crust (the column eventually failed again when over driven
at 80 cm on another paper thin crust). Once above tree line the clouds closed
in delivering light flurries of snow. The clouds inconveinently settled into
valleys as we approached the common summit of Petes South. We skied down the
ridge until visibility improved and then skied some 35-40 degree SW facing
terrain with a steeper rollover angling back toward the skin track. The
descent produced a little sluff on the steeper rollover. Perfectly consistent
boot top powder from summit to car.

Photos & Video
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