Observation: Turnagain

Location: Taylor Pass - Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Skied laps off of Taylor Pass. Snow quality was OK for turns. No red flags.

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

Calm and sunny


We dug and probed frequently as we toured up the valley. Snow was generally dense, ski penetration of only a few inches. Overall depth was consistent at about 1 meter. We could generally feel a denser layer down about 30cm/1ft, but it didn't seem to be everywhere and it was much weaker in some areas. The tops of any subtle ridges were well wind packed.

We dug a pit near the base of the slope up to Taylor Pass in an area that had a pronounced stiffer layer about 1ft down. We found ice under the snow pack at the ground, but this interface was not reactive.
2700ft, west aspect, 20deg slope, HS 120cm,

120-115 fist loose dry snow
115-100 1F moist
100-80 4F
80-75 pencil drizzle crust
75-35 1F
35-4 pencil compacted wet snow
4-0 ice at ground in the tundra

CT 4-10 repeated collapses in the top 20cm of 1F snow
By 20 hits the top 30cm of snow had completely collapsed without failing out of the column, see pic.
CT25 collapse at the interface between the 1F and P hard snow at ~35cm up.
A shovel pry test failed at this same interface Q3.
When I tried to remove the bottom ~35cm of snowpack it pulled the ice layer up from the tundra with it, very well bonded to the snow.

This felt to us like a very non-reactive snowpack that was well bonded to ice or snow that might have been in place before the latest storm.

We skied laps on adjacent slopes without incident.

Photos & Video
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