Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Toured from Sunburst parking lot up the main shoulder. (Parking lot has not been plowed!) Stopped short of the main bowl and skied down the mellower southwest aspect adjacent to the skin track. Ski quality was amazing.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger Yes
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Southwest
ElevationunknownSlope Angle 35deg
Crown Depth 6inWidth 25ft
Vertical Run 40ft  
Avalanche Details

On second lap of the day, we scoped out the left side of the face for fresh tracks and found that the far edge had an obvious wind-loaded convexity much steeper than the surrounding terrain. Made a ski cut ~15 feet away from this feature and remotely triggered the avalanche. There was a visible crack running horizontally from the skier's turn to the avalanche. The slide was very shallow, didn't gather any additional snow and didn't run particularly long. The rest of the face showed no signs of instability outside that specific (steeper, loaded) aspect.

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?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Back at the parking lot we spotted a crown on Magnum, W aspect ~2600 ft. Appeared to be a release along a rocky cliff band. No other avalanches or signs of instability observed on Sunburst or other mountains from our vantage point, surprisingly.

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

Temps in the 20s. Started snowy in the morning but broke to bluebird. Increasing wind throughout the day from the east, especially at higher elevations; large plumes visible on the ridgetops. Wind may become a concern - north aspect of Magnum looked super scoured.

Snow surface

~1 foot of fresh powder on top of unknown depth of more compressed powder. Beginning to form surface hoar in shaded areas above ~2500ft. Very thin wind crust forming around 3000ft.

Photos & Video
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