Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

With 3″ in my driveway and 4-5″ at the Center Ridge Snotel at 1,800′, I was convinced that we would find 5-7″ on a thin supportive base covering the grassy slopes of Sunburst. I was wrong. We couldn’t see the mountains due to an inversion layer when we arrived, so my fantasy wasn’t busted until we had climbed 1,000 vertical feet up into the bottom of Sunburst bowl. Large patches of nearly bare grass still exist on the West face of Sunburst Ridge. Snow pack looked a little deeper further back by Taylor Pass, but still not good enough to continue on mowing grass with our ski edges for another mile. There is barely enough snow to glide on in most places, less in others.
The uptrack through the woods has been chewed back to 30-50′ wide by some very busy and high-precision woodchucks. Someone buy those woodchucks a beer.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments


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

Low overcast at road, inversion fog layer from about 1,200ft to 1,600ft. Clear skies above. Calm wind throughout the Pass. Large spin drifts could be seen being blown off the top of Pastoral Peak though.

Snow surface

2-3" damp snow in the lot at 1,000' becoming dryer and decreasing to 1+" at 1,500ft.


Patchy 0-3 inches of "base" crust mixed in the grass. Bare dirt still under evergreen trees. Some signs of wind loading (slight scouring, small lips) viewed on the Seattle Ridge side. No recent wind loading signs seen on Sunburst or Magnum.

Photos & Video
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