Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

While we waited for the plow to clear Sunburst parking lot, drove down to Bertha Creek and watched two HUGE wolves cross the road!!! So amazing! Deep gratitude for wild wolves in our backyard!
Toured up standard Sunburst uptrack looking for evidence from yesterday’s storm. Even the uptrack down low was completely filled in from Tuesday with excellent powder, that gradually turned more dense until it became baby sastrugi at around 2300′. Discovered a natural wind slab that had stepped down to the ground on North aspect of Sunburst perhaps at end of storm. Best skiing was low pow meadows!

Avalanche Details
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Trigger UnknownAvalanche Type Hard Slab
Aspect NorthElevation 2500ft
Slope Angle 40degCrown Depth2ft
Width 350ftVertical Rununknown
Avalanche Details

As uptrack approaches ridge, sastrugi pointed due South, indicating that wind loading at the end of the storm was the culprit. A crack across the whole top of the ridge delineated where the wind slab ranging from 8-20 inches deep broke and travelled about 50' down slope before stepping down to the basal facets on the ground. We couldn't see how far it ran from above and tried to look again from Center Ridge, it seemed like it went to the valley but definately peetered out. Our guess was D2.

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

See photos

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

At 9:30 a.m., 27 degrees in parking lot ...by 1:30: 15 degrees in parking lot
Sunny bluebird in am giving way to incoming storm from South as clouds started to populate the sky

Snow surface

Light crust at parking lot disappeared with only 100 ft of elevation gain, giving way to blissful meadow pow which in turn gave way to baby sastrugi and wind hardened snow at 2300' and above it didn't look awesome. Turned around at 2500 ft to capitalize on #makemeadowskippingcoolagain . Never has the uptrack skied so sweetly! Nice refresh!

Snowpack

We dug a hand pit at 1300' and got a moderate shear on Buried surface hoar down 60 cms.
We didn't dig a formal pit.
Probed depths at 2200' ranging between 60-85 cms.
Drummy wind slab beginning at 2300' in places.

Photos & Video
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