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Observation: Turnagain

Location: Taylor Pass

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Toured to Taylor Pass (3250′) from the Sunburst parking lot. Very firm travel conditions and flat light.

No new glide avalanches observed or reported in the Turngain Pass area but at least 3 new observed along Bird flats and Girdwood flats from Seward Highway.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Wind loading but very limited AST (available snow for transport).

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

Overcast
ENE winds were moderate, gusty and being channeled over the pass.
Temps in the high 20Fs
No precip

Snow surface

1000-3000' Supportable MF crust
3000-3200' Supportable MF crust with 1-10 cm of wind blown snow

On our ski down below 1800' was starting to soften slightly and it was easy to punch through with a pole 1200' and below. Last night was the hardest freeze of the week.

Snowpack

The crust was deeper and more supportable that the past few days. It still extends to over 3000'.
There is still a winter snowpack below the crust above 2500'.
Dug a quick pit @ 3100', NW aspect, 25 degree slope. 25 cm wind slab over a 20 cm MF crust with pencil hard wind compacted rounds below. Pit depth 60 cm. No tests performed.
Slope cutting produced 2-4" wind slab on steep roller. Obvious wind loading during tour but not very much snow available for transport.
Watching how any new snow bonds to the surface crust will be crucial if we receive new snow.
If we get a significant rain event or rapid warming in the Alpine it will be important to pay attention to how the winter snowpack reacts to free water decreasing strength.

Photos & Video
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