Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Ascended Sunburst West ridge to 2300′. VERY active wind transport seen in every direction, at every elevation.

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?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Temperature was 37 degrees at the truck at about 15:30. 1-2" of snow fell this morning, but skies quickly cleared off and winds increased rapidly at about 1500. Wind was channeling through the terrain in all kinds of strange ways. At several times snow was blowing north on Magnum while blowing south on Sunburst. Sunburst was pluming alternately on both the north and south side.

Snow surface

1-2" of new snow fell until about noon. Below the new snow there is a 1" melt-freeze crust on northerly aspects, and 3" of melt-freeze grains (not frozen into a crust at the time) on southerly aspects. In the afternoon and evening increasing winds were rapidly transporting any snow available into wind slabs.


The snowpack below ~1500' is moist to the ground. Above ~1500' the snowpack becomes much drier about a foot below the surface, but there is still moist snow / a melt-freeze crust in the upper foot of the snowpack.

We dug one pit at 2300', NW aspect, 26 degree slope. HS=180 cm. CT22 SP down 70 cm on loose 2mm facets sandwiched between a 1F to P+ hard slab and a melt-freeze crust. ECTX, PST 95/100 END.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.