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Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst to Magnum

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Ascended Sunburst standard route. No whumphing or shooting cracks. Dug a pit to 90cm hard ice layer.
Pit location: SSW face sunburst, 3300′, 22* slope, 11am
Sky: scattered, Wind: ENE 5-10mph
Did not have ECT cord so only performed CT with the following results:
CT2 Q2 @ 25cm
CT8 Q1 @ 32cm (presumed BSH)
CT22 Q3 @ 44cm

Descended Sunburst and ascended Magnum WNW ridge. Ascent ridge was scoured.
Reached Magnum summit @ 1pm, observed large cornices over Magnum S face (pictured).
Sky became Obscured with S-1 and wind 10-15mph.

Descended Magnum SW bowl via low angle snow, far south away from cornices. High quality, low density snow for descent.
Traversed around SW corner to W face Magnum briefly enroute to the Alders below.
Upon transitioning to Magnum W face, at 2500′ approached a steep rollover. Skier 1 ski cut a concave terrain feature below a rock band, intentionally cutting loose a wind slab, estimated 10″ deep and 40′ wide. Debris was less than 12″ deep, runout traveled ~250′. Bed surface was hard ice below new snow. Estimated size D1.
Skiers 2, 3, and 4 descended the bed surface with no incident.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Soft Slab
Aspect WestElevation 2500ft
Slope Angle 37degCrown Depth 10in
Width 30ftVertical Run 250ft
Avalanche Details

Upon transitioning to Magnum W face, at 2500' approached a steep rollover. Skier 1 ski cut a concave terrain feature below a rock band, intentionally cutting loose a wind slab, estimated 10" deep and 40' wide. Debris was less than 12" deep, runout traveled ~250'. Bed surface was hard ice below new snow.
Skiers 2, 3, and 4 descended the bed surface with no incident.

Events of the day

Avoided crowds, skied conservative terrain as winds picked up, but upon reaching a new, unknown aspect and a small but steep terrain feature, Skier 1 performed a ski cut which triggered the soft windslab.

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

11am: Sky Scattered, Wind: 5-10mph ENE
1pm: Sky Obscured, S-1, Wind: 10-15mph ENE
3pm: Sky Obscured, S2, Wind unknown (obs from car).

Snow surface

New, low density snow, beginning to form slabs.

Snowpack

Pit location: SSW face sunburst, 3300', 22* slope, 11am
Sky: scattered, Wind: ENE 5-10mph
Did not have ECT cord so only performed CT with the following results:
CT2 Q2 @ 25cm
CT8 Q1 @ 32cm (presumed BSH)
CT22 Q2 @ 44cm

Hand hardness descended from F to 4F to 1F to K.

Performed a number of hand shears en route on both Sunburst and Magnum up tracks without cause for concern.

Photos & Video
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