Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst to 3200'

Route & General Observations

Toured to 3200′ on Sunburst just under the final bump to the ridge

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Light was hard for photos. Black and white used to pull out definition in some photos. Makes it look more dark and stormy than it was.

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

All the observed avalanche activity was from the storm or just after. The noticeable slide on the N side of Magnum occurred prior to the 27th as it was observed by skiers yesterday. Some skiers thought it had just been triggered but confirmed with a party skiing yesterday that it was old.
There was other old avalanche activity towards Taylor Pass on the N side of Magnum and over half the West face of magnum slid during the storm. Where the usual NW should up-track is has debris on it.
While traversing out towards the avalanche on the NW shoulder of Sunburst I had a shooting crack from my skis.
Chatted with a party that had started towards Taylor Pass and turned around due to large whumpfs approaching the slope towards the pass and in the Valley.
Also lower elevation crowns in lower Todds Bowl and on Wolverine. All in the mid-elevation band 2500' and below. The more visibility we get the more signs of a widespread natural cycle during the Xmas storm and the propagation with long, connected crowns.

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

Partly to mostly cloudy
Brief light snow
A period of S/SE winds from approximately 12:45-1:30 blowing sustained 15-20 gusting 30 mph and transporting snow to N aspects. This is an interesting anomaly of how N/NW winds funnel through the pass from the South.
Temps the low 20Fs and high teens.

Snow surface

1-2" new snow over soft settling snow
New wind crust and baby sastrugi after the wind picked up.


Dug two pits:
#1 just above the NW ridge slide on Sunburst 2300', HS 90 cm, Compression tests and ECTs all had medium to hard results in developed facets (2-4mm) above the old deteriorating mf crust above ground. CT 15 x 3 SC, ECTP 21, ECTP 19. This correlates with the slide on the shoulder running to the grourd
#2 just below final bump of Sunburst ridge at 3200'. This was adjacent to public observers pit. HS: 130. December 24th layer of surface hoar was very easy to pick out 45cm below the surface. CT x3 22, 17, 26, ECTP 18, Alo had ECT 22 on facet interface below the prior storm.

Photos & Video
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