Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Standard uptrack to 3150′.

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
Observer Comments

A party on Magnum kicked off a small wind slab on the west face.
Active wind transport with flagging on the ridge
Small cracking kicking mini cornice along the ridge

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

Light rain from Girdwood to around 300' heading up the pass with snow showers until Center Ridge and then not snowing at Sunburst parking when we pulled in at 10:30.
Overcast skies becoming broken
Moderate NE winds in the morning with active transport easing off in the afternoon
Temperatures in the low 30°Fs at the truck and low 20°Fs in the alpine

Snow surface

1-2" of new snow over thick sometimes supportable melt freeze crust to around 1200' where the snow on top of the crust got deeper. The crust thinned with elevation and disappeared around 2000'.
Above 1200', 2" of new snow over 3-4" of soft settled snow from the tail end of 1.18 storm. Total 1.16-1.18 snow was around 1-1.5'. Ski pen was 4-6".
Wind effect became noticeable around 2000', lots of wind roller balls
Snow along the ridge was stiff with a thin wind crust, small sastrugi in places and anti-tracks, ski pen 1-2"


We dug 2 pits at 1500, HS: 260, W aspect, there was a thin melt freeze crust 55 cm down with buried stellars (from 1.15) just below. No test results on this layer, ECTX. However, it did pop out as a block with shovel pry behind making it easy to see the grains.

We dug two pits at 2100', HS: 320 cm and HS: 380, W aspect, found the 1.15 layer down 80 cm in 1st pit, CT 23, CT 24, ECTX x2 and down 40 cm in the 2nd, CT 26, CT 23, ECTN 23.

We dug two pits at 2700', HS: 320 and HS: 365. We found the 1.15 layer down 60 cm in the 1st pit, CT 26, ECTP 30 and down 40 cm in the 2nd pit, CT 24, ECTX.

Probing along the ridge it was easy to feel the less resistant snow from 1.15, 40-60 cm below the stiffer wind affected snow.

Photos & Video
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