Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst - Weather Station area

Route & General Observations

Toured up to the Sunburst weather station to do some trouble shooting on the power and battery up there. Hopefully this will be back on line in a few days.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments


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

Bluebird day with light and variable winds - downright calm wind at times.

Snow surface

Impressive surface hoar (SH) at all elevations. Above ~3,000' the surface hoar is 1.5-2cm in size.... It sits on very soft faceting snow - even on the ridgeline that typically sports hard wind packed snow.

The faceting snow underneath the SH is anywhere from 2" thick (on degrading old wind slabs on the ridge) to 12" thick (sheltered zones).


The new snow from last weekend is faceting quickly under the clear and cold skies (with large SH on top). These areas are a mix of loose weak snow with mid-pack crumbling old wind slabs and crusts. Sluffing in the facets was the only concern and this was minimal on upper 30deg slopes but I'd imagine more concerning on 40 deg and steeper terrain.

Wind loaded areas that still have very supportable snow remain the only place with a 'slab'. We dug in one of these spots today and had an ECTP 26 and 22 that failed 20" down on a thin 1mm crust with buried surface hoar (2-5mm) on both sides of the crust. A stubborn old slab, but it was on a persistent weak layer.

Photos & Video
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