Observation: Turnagain

Location: Pastoral

Route & General Observations

Toured up to Taylor Pass around 9;30 a.m. Monday 2/19. Once at the pass clouds obscured views and routes from 11 a.m. until around 1 p.m. Once we could see some of the route, we skinned towards pastoral with a few back-tracks due to clouds. The avalanche on pastoral from a few months ago was visible as were the debris. I did not observe new activity. The skin to pastoral traverses some hard packed snow and wind slabs. The tour to the top of pastoral has on old anti-skin track and was much easier to boot the top portion. The ski down pastoral was firm and wind affected. The lower ski line appeared and felt much more wind affected and “slabby” for lack of a better term than the line from the top (as much as we could tell from the skin track as we ascended). The line from the top was firm in places with softer areas.

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

I did not experience any whumphing, or cracking. Some areas have the look and feel of consolidated slabs and were avoided. A quick hand pit here and there did show consolidated wind slabs on the traverse to pastoral and on the ridge to the top of pastoral. We did not see the January 20 layer in a hand pit at the top of pastoral, but did not stop on the slope to gather additional information. My partner experienced some cracking and small slabs on one turn on the lookers left side of the line from the top, about half way down.

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

Sunny and cloudy at times. 20-30 degrees. Flat light around 3 p.m. coming down from pastoral.

Snow surface

Wind crust and hard packed snow in places, with some areas of softer powder. Sun affected snow coming down near sunburst.


Hand pits showed consolidated slabs in some areas.