Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Toured to 2700′ on the Sunburst ridgeline, skied 2 laps on WSW aspect. The alders were in control until around 2000 ft. Saw storm slab crowns on all aspects.

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)?Yes
Observer Comments

Minor shooting cracks in wind-loaded areas, multifarious natural slides ran on all aspects during the storm at mid and upper elevations.

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

20F degrees at car, 11F at ridge.
Surprisingly calm at lower and mid elevations, 25+ mph winds at ridgetop.
Heavy wind transport in the morning, decreased over the day.

Snow surface

Below 2500' there was some seriously heady pow! Anything above 2500' was soft sastrugi or rock.


Measured snow depths: 34cm @ 920ft, 53cm @ 2000ft, 55cm @ 2570ft. There was moderate scouring and drifting above 2400ft.
Snow pit on WSW shoulder @ 2570 ft showed 44 cm of right-side-up storm snow over ~11 cm of small basal facets. The facet layer had thicknesses ranging from 1 cm to 15 cm depending on micro-topography. Despite being adorably tiny these facets mean strictly business and could be responsible for this week's widespread storm/wind slab cycle. Pit profile below:

Photos & Video
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