Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations


Temps: warm, 36 deg F @ 1,000’ @ 1pm, high 20s F above 2,000’
Precip: rain/snow line around 1,700’ with showery precip and only a trace of
accumulation above R/S line. Showers intensifying upon exit at 4pm
Sky: overcast with ridgetops obscured
Winds: moderate out of the E

Obvious Signs Of Instability
Recent Avalanches-Yes, 2 debris piles below N facing terrain on Sunburst, wet
loose debris on W side of Magnum ridge, exact timing uncertain, but within the past 48 hrs
Shooting Cracks-YES, see photo, likely initiated by a group ahead of us

Snow Surface
1,000-1,800’ – bare ground and patches of rain soaked older snow with max depth
of 8”
1,800-2,500’- wet surface gradually changing over to 1-2” crust with elevation gain
2,500-3,000- upside down wind slab along Sunburst ridge, 6-14” thick

Snow Below the Surface
We dug at 2,700’ and 3,000’ today along the standard ascent ridge (W) on
Sunburst. Recent wind loading over the last 2 days has created slabs that were
reactive in tests. Failures occurred within the new snow at hardness changes
(upside down wind slab). More concerning was the layer of buried facets that
are now 12-16” down in this location.
Results at this layer:
ECTP 15, 15, 12, 14 Sudden Collapse
PST 25/100 End
See photo and video for more.

Pit results from today tell us the following:
-triggering shallow wind slabs 6-8” thick in steep terrain is likely
-potential exists for avalanches to step down to the more concerning layer of
facets 14-18” down
-propagation potential on this layer is high

Photos & Video
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