Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst uptrack

Route & General Observations

Alaska Pacific University Snow Science field day touring up on Sunburst uptrack up to 2200′ with a quick poke into lower Magnum uptrack across Taylor Creek.

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Observed whumphing on several locations.

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

10 AM: temps just below freezing, light wind from N, no precip, sky broken.
3 PM: temps below freezing, calm, snowing 1cm/hour, sky obscured.

Snow surface

~5-10 cm of new snow.
No wind impact on surface, except thin wind crust starting ~2000'.


HS 130 - 200cm.
Valentine's Day storm cycle had few distinct layers (colder - warmer - colder) within it.
Layer of concern: buried surface hoar @ 45-60cm down from top of snowpack. This persistent weak layer was reactive in 90% of our travel test & formal tests in varied locations - N, S, SW & W aspects in 1400 to 2200'. Test results included PST 35/100; ECTP11-14SCx8; CT8-14SCx8;
Secondary layer of concern: basal facets @ ground, found on Magnum uptrack at 2200'. These moist facets seemed to be rounding.
Ski quality was good.

Photos & Video
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