Observation: Turnagain

Location: Magnum

Route & General Observations

Left the sunburst parking lot under sunny skies and headed south. We headed up pms bowl on the southwest part of magnum and spun a lap before going back up for a west facing run back to the truck. No new avalanches observed but lots of evidence of the action from the last couple weeks.

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

Tropical. Clear sunny skies with very light and variable winds. Temps in the mid forties at ridge tops. Plenty of dry alpine on ridges for sunbathing and snacks.

Snow surface

The snow was crispy when we started at 10:45. Climbing the southwest side of magnum the snow remained firm but skinable. Where the slope had more of a southerly tilt the snow was softer and corning up. Skiing back down that way at 1:00 things had softened further but we were still about an hour or so early for the prime corn.

On our climb back up the southerlies had softened further and skis would slip on surface slush in places. We skied the west aspect at 3:00 and it was undercooked and still frozen. This was a bit of a surprise and I’d suspect that it was still hours away from perfection.


The snowpack is in full spring form with the hot sunny days. Playing the aspect and time is the name of the game. We were surprised by how late things were softening even with above freezing ridge top temps from the night previous. We found 4-5 inches of refrozen snow sitting above moist/wet melt freeze grains on southern slopes at noon.

Photos & Video
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