Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

We toured up to about 3500′ on Sunburst to get a look at the snowpack at a little higher elevation. We found about 4′ of snow on the ground, including around 10″ of old snow below Thursday’s storm. There was a layer of moist faceted snow right at the ground that was stubborn but did produce some results in the pit. Taking into account the info from our pits and the recent large avalanche in the nearby Goldpan area, we know there are some issues at the bottom of the snowpack.

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

Lots of debris piles from the middle of this week's storm, but nothing that looked fresh.

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

Temps were cold at the truck this morning, getting up into the 20's F during the day, with warmer temps once we gained a little elevation. Clear skies and no wind made for great conditions.

Snow surface

The storm snow continues to settle, making for great surface conditions. Around a foot or so of soft snow on top, getting progressively stiffer with depth. There was a really consistent layer of surface hoar on the surface that got bigger at higher elevations.


From our snowpit at 3400' on a south aspect:
We found a moist layer of ~2mm facets at the ground, below a melt/freeze layer that was about 2" thick. We did not get any results from extended column tests, but we did get failures above and below the crust layer with compression tests (CT24, CT26). The structure has some issues, and we suspect the most problematic areas are high elevation, steep, rocky slopes. Any slopes that had snow on the ground before this week's storm should be treated with extra caution.

See attached photos for detailed pit info.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.