Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Normal sunburst uptrack to treeline, then went left at treeline to spend time digging study pits with AAS pro 1 class. Topped out around 2700′ on W face of Sunburst.

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

Clear skies and calm to light winds. Temperatures were cold in valley bottoms (-10 F) but much more comfortable higher up.

Snow surface

Layer of small surface hoar up to 2700' where we topped out. Otherwise the surface snow was about 10 cm deep in most places with a variable crust underneath. We did not find any pockets of wind slab at the lower elevations where we were. The crust was easier to break below 1500' and seems to have faceted out a bit during the stretch of cold temperatures.


The structure was similar in all our pits, with 10cm of surface facets on top of 10cm of crust. This setup is concerning because of the heavy snowfall forecast for Sunday afternoon into Monday. The crust will be an excellent bed surface for storm snow avalanches and the new snow is unlikely to bond well with the current snow surface, which is composed of small surface hoar and surface facets. The lower snowpack still has a faceted layer from mid November on top of the Halloween crust.

Photos & Video
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