Observation: Turnagain

Location: Big Chief

Route & General Observations

Toured back towards Big Chief & climbed the East Ridge. There was a skin track from skiers who had been there this past weekend but by around 3500’ the skin track had been completely filled in by wind. On a south aspect at 3500’ we dug a pit to the ground (about a 4′ of snow); no weak layers were found. Higher up on the wind-scoured East ridge we found raised tracks left over from weekend visitors.

From the top we dropped North down onto the face. Parter descended roughly 4-500’ but stopped after discovering a wind slab above a steep rollover (around 4200’). A hasty pit revealed a thin snow pack (18”) on top of of depth hoar. He then booted back up the run. We then descended the East Ridge. When ski cutting our skin track I was able to knock chunk of windslab loose that were about 4-6” thick – but there was no energy / propagation in the snowpack.

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

During the day we had clear skies, light winds and warm temps (mid 20s).
Note: for approximately 12 hours between 9pm 12/7 and 9am on 12/8 the wind blew an average of 20mph ENE with gusts up to 46 reported on Sunburst.

Snow surface

Wind affected snow and lots of rime ice on the ridge above 3500'. 6-8" of soft snow below 3500'.

Photos & Video
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