Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

We toured up Sunburst today to see how much this sleeper storm had delivered, and we were not disappointed. By 1400, there was ~30″ new snow at 2000′. We hiked until we were above the alder line, at which point visibility completely disappeared. We got a few collapses as we approached the area where the avalanche failed at the ground yesterday. We kept it low-angle today, and worked our way back down the skin track. It was a bit of a struggle even getting out of there because it was SO DEEP!


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

We got several collapses on a SW aspect at about 2300'. All of these occurred in areas that had very shallow snow prior to today's storm, with large facets near the ground.

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

Snowing at least 2" an hour all afternoon, and it did not show any signs of letting up as we headed back to town. Winds were light and out of the east with little to no snow transport, at least up to 2300'. Could not see anything above us, so it was hard to tell if the winds were stronger up high. Temps were right at freezing in the parking lot at 1200, and -4C at 2300' at 1400.

Snow surface

So. Much. Pow! This storm came in right side up, and the upper 5-10 cm were really dry. We stuck to low angles, and there was basically too much snow to move.


~24" new snow at the parking lot, ~30" new snow at 2300'. We put in two pits at 2300', which showed remarkably similar results. We were in an area that had a very thin snowpack prior to the storm, with about 10 cm of facets at the ground. ECTP14, ECTP15, ECTP21 on those facets, about 3' deep. Got some sluff moving on some really low-angle slopes.

Photos & Video
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