Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst, 2400' - 3100' NW ridge common uptrack.

Route & General Observations

Toured up Sunburst to the 3,100′ level. Temps around 28 – 30 degrees in parking lot, 20 – 25 above treeline, with 10 – 15mph winds only felt when on the ridgeline. Light but constant snow showers the entire tour. Variable visibility, getting better when up high.

Went up this the day before too, so all observations noted are changes within the last day.

Found signs of wind loading on western aspects, with tiny cornices having formed on the ridgeline, the ridge crest being scoured of soft snow, small few inches thick windslab just on the lee side of the ridge, and fresh windblown snow on the entire face below. The new windblown snow covering the face was averaging around 6″ deep, possibly more – it was enough to completely cover the skintrack and ski tracks from the weekend.

We descended a 33-degree portion of the face in untracked, freshly windblown powder.

Based on our skin up and run down, at least on this portion of the face at the time we toured, there were no cohesive high density windslabs on the portion of the face we were on — just soft windblown snow. There was a few inches thick windslab in the first several meters just lee of the ridge crest. We did not have any visibility to see further down on the face how it looked.

Photos & Video
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