Observation: Turnagain

Location: Magnum West Face to 3200'

Route & General Observations

Ascended the NW ridge of Magnum and skied West Face

Overall we found good stability along the entire route. Focused on surface snow, top 6″-12″. We observed moderate Easterly winds in the late afternoon and found 2″ fresh wind slab at 3200′ on a Western aspect as a result of current wind loading. Wind slabs were not connected to the steeper Western slope below us in this location at this time.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Small shooting crack in top 2" of snow at 3200' on West aspect. A very fresh windslab as a result of moderate Easterly winds.

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

Periods of snow flurries, and periods of broken sky cover
Visibility was variable to good at times
Easterly ridge top winds- Moderate - late afternoon (3-4pm)
Temps - 33F at road, 25F along ridge
Rain/snow line was near 800' - light rain on North side of Turnagain increasing to moderate rain near Girdwood

Snow surface

1000'-1500' breakable crust became very thin at 1500'
1500'-2000' - 6-10" of soft, settled and slightly moist snow on stout crust below
2000-3000' - 6-12" of soft, settling snow. Near NW ridge slab densities varied. Could feel old wind stiffened snow, up-side-down in places. Hand sheer test results varied from no results to several Q2 sheers requiring moderate-strong force.


Probed around between 2900'-3200' - Height of snow varied from 10cm near rimed ridge to 220cm about 15' away from ridge. Found several wind drifted areas >300cm.

Focused on surface snow and found overall good stability, with the exception of very small wind slabs forming at 3200' on Western aspect, as a result of current wind loading.

Photos & Video
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