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Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Toured up Taylor Pass to the Sunburst Weather station to check on anemometer. Visibility was poor due to valley fog and overcast conditions above fog. We didn’t see any signs of instability our tour.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

None were observed

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

Valley Fog to 2000'
Broken becoming overcast skies above 2000'
Periods of light snow fall, mostly in valley fog
Temps: 30F at road, 25F at 3800'
Winds: light from NE

Snow surface

1000' - 1" new on 3" crust w/ moist snow below
1300' - 1" new on 1-2" crust with dry snow below
2000'-2200' - 1" new on lots of roller wind balls on surface
2300' - crust become very thin and transitions to dry firm snow (2-3" ski penetration, mostly new snow)

Snowpack

*Taylor Pass and many ridges/rocky ribs on Sunburst SW aspects and Magnum N aspects were scoured after the last few weeks of very high winds. We specifically looked for a thinner area of snow to dig a pit wondering if these thinner zones harbor weak snow. Found several layers of rounding facets, but were not reactive in test pit. Height of snow in this area fluctuated from 30cm near rocks to 250cm in gut of gully.

Dug a pit at 3700' , HS=115cm, SW aspect, below and East of Wx Station, we found 2-3mm basel facets on rocky ground with ~10" of decomposing melt/freeze crust just above it. We also found a 5mm layer of rounding facets (1-1.5mm) at 15" above the ground. Neither were reactive in tests. Several density changes within wind affected snow failed in an Extended Column Test, but did not propagate. See photo diagram for details.

Photos & Video
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