Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Toured up to Taylor Pass, the Sunburst weather station and back.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

Soft, wet and punchy snow on east and south aspects when we were gaining the Sunburst ridge at 3pm.

We did not see any signs of recent avalanche activity.

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

Mostly sunny skies with a few clouds while we were there in the afternoon (1-4pm).
Temperatures right around 30F and light westerly ridgetop winds. Calm in valley bottoms.

Snow surface

Parking lot - 1,000' - Punchy wet snow that was unsupportable to the ground at 1pm.
Above 1,000' - east and south aspects were found to be too soft and mushy for both good corn skiing and we probably could have got some wet loose avalanches to go if we tried.
Southwest aspects were good corn and supportable underneath at 330pm.
West was still a bit crunchy and had not softened enough by 4pm.


We found completely unsupportable and isothermal snow near the parking lot and in areas up to the ridge that were shallow (5' or less). Otherwise, the majority of the pack appears to be mostly supportable with only the top 1-2' softening significantly during warm days - this top 1-2' has been going through a melt-freeze cycle for the past 2 weeks.

Take home: Predictable wet avalanche conditions and corn snow at Turnagain where the pack in general is still fairly thick and mostly supportable.

Photos & Video
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