Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Standard Sunburst uptrack, to an upper elevation of 3100′. Looking for instabilities within┬áthe recent storm snow, and the existence of buried surface hoar at multiple elevations.

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)?Yes
Observer Comments

Small (D1-1.5) natural wind slab on the North side of Sunburst - 2500' w existing cracks observed above this natural wind slab - no shooting cracks during tour. See photos below.

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

Overcast becoming clear late morning
Around 32 at the road, temp falling throughout the day
Low 20s at upper elevation band
Light snowfall in the morning (S0-S-1)
Light winds increased to Moderate SW winds in the early afternoon enough to move snow along ridgetops for an hour or two, then decreased to light.

Snow surface

2-3" of new snow/settled powder on moist rain crust until 1300' - rain line ends.
3-5" of new snow/settled powder on top of higher resistance (1F) wind packed powder.
Wind texture on snow surface above 2000'


Primarily evaluated the existence and reactivity of the buried surface hoar layer. While the BSH does exist, it was not found in our upper elevation pit locations. Below 2000' it did not show very much reactivity in our hand pits.

Hand Pit 1- Summit Uptrack - 1100'
8-10mm BSH down 40cm
Collapse on isolation

Hand Pit 2 - Sunburst Uptrack - 1500'
2mm BSH down 65cm
No notable hand shear

Hand Pit 3 - Sunburst Uptack - 2000'
2mm BSH down 60cm
No notable hand shear

Test Pit #1 - North Sunburst - 2475' - NNW - HS: 165 - 29 degree
CT17 down 55cm on density change with broken precip particles
CT27 down 30cm on density change with broken precip particles
15cm pencil hard MF curst on the ground. Moist grains and rounding facets in MF crust/ground interface
Rightside up snowpack above MF crust

Test Pit #2- South Sunburst Face -3115' - SW - HS:205 - 30 degree
CT17 down 30cm in 1F/4F density step on broken precip particles
CT19 down 35cm on lower 1F/1F- density step
CT29 down 30cm 1F/4F density step on broken precip particles

Photos & Video
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