Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Sunburst, Initiated in normal skin track and made my own track towards north around the alders. Heading to the ridge.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

A few wind loaded pockets in gullys or north aspects. A few of these were breaking a little crack around 15 cms deep on top of facets. Nothing bigger. Mostly in hand/ski pole tests.

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

Sky: Overcast.
Precipitation: a few Flurries falling.
Wind: SW calm wind with gusts ~25 mph / 15 mph average.
Air Temperature: 28º F
Windy on the ridge (2800' ASL) ~ 30 mph

Snow surface

On the ridge, above 2300' ASL the snow surface was thin and wind affected, eroded by the wind, with those formations that I think are sastrugis? see the picture attached.
Below 2000' ASL I found a layer of (~10 cms) fresh snow (fist) sitting on top of a crust (possible melting or rain?). Under the crust layer was the airpocket/ground layer, with sugary snow in there.


On the way up I dug several hand shear tests.
Below 2000' the layer of snow was breaking above the crust. Above 2000' the whole snowpack was falling with nothing suspicious.
I dug a pit on a SW aspect at 2200' ASL
TSD: 31 cms / Fist penetration.
SA: 24º
CT ~15 broke on the bottom. Fist penetration all the way.
A few small cornices on N/NE aspects were breaking easy when jumping on top.
In some isolated pockets filled with snow the pack was deeper and a layer of new snow was breaking easy when opening track (Photo).

Photos & Video
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