Observation: Turnagain

Location: Magnum and Cornbiscuit

Route & General Observations

Standard PMS uptrack on Magnum to 3400′ and Cornbiscuit NW shoulder to 3500′ on ridge.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

Small loose snow avalanches
Cracking in wind affected snow

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

Clear and sunny with valley fog to the north and a little to the south
-8°F at the car to start - teens at upper elevations

Snow surface

Surface hoar and near surface facets.
Wind effect started around 2000' in more exposed terrain and was really variable. Some very thin wind skin, some breakable wind board, some small pockets of wind slab and some protected soft settled powder.


We dug at 3000' on SW aspect of Magnum, 25° slope. HS: 310 cm, pit depth 100 cm. There was a thin wind skin on the surface over near surface facets. There were two layers of buried surface hoar visible with nsf in the pit wall. One 8 cm down, CT5, CT4 and the 1.28 layer was 20 cm down, CT10, CT14, ECTN15 and ECTP13, ECTP3. There is a layer of decomposing precip particles that have faceted down 35 cm, CT22 (x2), ECTN 21. Aside from the very thin wind crust on the surface the the upper 20 cm was essentially all near surface faceted snow and surface hoar layers that was just barely cohesive enough to behave as a slab. This is mostly due to a thin layer of slightly stiffer snow just above the 1.28 surface hoar.

Wind slab over weak snow continues to be the main concern.

Photos & Video
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