Observation: Turnagain

Location: Taylor Pass

Route & General Observations

Toured up to Taylor Pass between Magnum and Sunburst to take a look at conditions and take advantage of a nice spring day. We did not find any concerning weak layers in our snowpit at 3200′ on a NW aspect. Overall there was not as much wet snow avalanche activity from yesterday as I expected, and the snow surface was drier and colder than I expected above 2000′. We left around 4pm, so things might have softened up more and started releasing naturally later in the day.

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

Couple of small wet loose avalanches on SW face of Sunburst.

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 winds above treeline. Temps were in the mid 40s at the road when we drove down around 4pm.

Snow surface

2-3" melt freeze crust at lower elevations with a thin layers of dry snow on top. Above 1500' there was dry snow on the surface on shaded northern aspects. The wind at upper elevations was helping to keep the snow surface cool. Lower angle terrain and the western aspects we traveled on only had a breakable crust on the surface, not supportable enough for corn skiing. Steep southern aspects might have been supportable enough for corn skiing in the afternoon, but we decided to stick to the dry northerly aspects with 4-6" of soft snow on top.


We dug one snowpit on a NW aspect at 3200'. Overall the snowpack was right side up and we had no concerning stability test results (ECT N 14 underneath the soft snow layer about 6" deep). There was lots of tracks on steep north facing runs on Tincan, Sunburst, Magnum, and Pastoral and we did not see any recent slab avalanches.

Photos & Video
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