Observation: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

Toured up to Sunburst to take a look at the extent of the ‘facet farming’
occurring in the mountains.

WARM above treeline – mid 30’sF at 3,500′! The parking lot (1,000′) was 5F.
Skies were mostly clear, high clouds streaming in from the north. Wind was light
from the west.

Recent avalanches and signs of instability:

Primary concern:
Hitting rocks.

Total depth: Above treeline, 15-30″, below treeline, 12-15″
The entire pack continues its faceting process into very weak un-cohesive snow
(picture below). All three storm events that make up the pack above treeline
(late Oct, Nov 10 and Nov 21) are essentially becoming one layer of facets, each
storm with varying degrees of faceting. The weakest of these layers appears to
be the Nov 10 snow. There is a very thin decomposing crust between the Nov 10
and Nov 21 layers. I have seen this in many areas and believe it is a
temperature crust from the warm ambient air on Nov 14th.

Snow surface:
Despite the above freezing temperatures at the upper elevations the snow is
still cold and dry. We could not detect any temperature crust or dampness on the
surface. No surface hoar observed above treeline. The wind slabs and crusts
formed late last week are breaking down and becoming brittle. However, they
still exist and are sitting on weak snow.

Photos & Video
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