Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Standard route up the west ridge of Sunburst to 3200′. We dug a pit at our highpoint to take a look at the storm snow from past week of active weather.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger UnknownRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

We got our eyes on a few large debris piles that likely ran during the storm ending 3/25 (Magnum, Seattle Ridge gullies, Basketball Chute), and a pair of crowns that may have run during the latest round of snow on 3/27 (Tincan Proper, Sunburst Ridge). See Photos.

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

Broken skies in the region led us to experience the full gamut of weather today. We had periods of warm sunshine, which in a few minutes turned into vertigo-inducing whiteout. Winds were calm to light from the northeast, save for one rogue strong snow gust which was able to blow some snow around. Temps were quite warm.

Snow surface

From our time of descent near 3pm:
Dry snow on southerly aspects had warmed up in the periodic sunshine and started to become moist up to our highpoint (3200'). Less southerly slopes harbored dry powder but became moist near 2500'. The snow transitioned to wet snow by 1300'.


We dug a pit on a West aspect at 3200' along the Sunburst ridge. We found 3.5 feet of settled (hard) storm snow sitting on the old snow surface before the recent storm cycle (3/22). In our pit, the previous snow surface was a suncrust, and the slab was bonding to it seemingly well. We performed an ECT and got a couple of non-propagating breaks (ECTN15, 1 foot below the surface, on the interface between the 3/25 and 3/27 storms). We followed up our ECT with a modified deep tap test and got the slab to break and propagate along the 3/22 snow surface, which was 3.5 feet down.
This wasn't the ideal pit location, it gets skied up a fair bit so the previous snow surface may not be representative for the broader region.

Photos & Video
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