Observation: Turnagain

Location: Cornbiscuit

Route & General Observations

We were up at the pass this morning taking down the beacon checker signs for the season (fear not, they will be back next season). We managed to squeeze in a quick tour up Cornbiscuit ridge early in the afternoon. We dug a pit on a northerly aspect at around 2000′ and found most to wet snow in the upper foot or so of the snowpack and dry to moist snow below that. There were crusts on every aspect, which were supportable above about 1500′. Ski quality was variable, and we were headed down before things really softened up into proper corn skiing. The supportable crusts on northerly aspects were the big surprise for the day.

We finished the day with a drive through Portage to get eyes on conditions out there. The lake is looking awfully wet, and we saw multiple fresh piles of debris from smaller avalanches above the Trail of Blue Ice.


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

Skies were mostly cloudy this morining, with increasing sun in the middle of the day. Winds were light to moderate out of the northeast, and temperatures were warm enough to be starting to soften surface crusts by noon or earlier.

Snow surface

Surface crusts were weak and unsupportable up to 1500' elevation. Above 1500', we found supportable crusts on all aspects, with a dusting of new snow on northerlies that hadn't gone through a melt cycle yet. The wind had blown that new snow around enought that it was still firm.


We dug one pit at 2000' on a north aspect and could not get a layer to fail with an extended column test, stout bonust taps, or prying with a shovel. We noticed wetter snow in the upper foot or so of our snowpit than we had seen in previous pits over the past week, and the deeper snow was starting to go from dry to moist. The transition to a spring/summer snowpack is slowly taking place, but it is sloooowwww.

Photos & Video
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