Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Sunburst via Taylor Pass

Route & General Observations

Tour to the Sunburst weather station via Taylor Pass.

The big news – the Halloween storm dropped over 6′ of snow to the upper elevations on Sunburst, which has settled to around 4-5′.

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type GlideAspect Southwest
Elevation 2800ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth7ftWidth 200ft
Vertical Run 800ft  
Avalanche Details

Two glide avalanches released (one on Sunburst and one on Tincan) sometime in the early morning hours of Nov 7th. 4-5" of snow fell overnight ending around 5am - glide happened after this snowfall and before our arrival around 10:45am.

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

Glide avalanche activity and glide cracks had us on our guard as we traveled in the valley up toward Taylor Pass.

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

Broken skies, some mid-level fog, and some sunshine poking through.
Light easterly breeze along ridge.
Temps in the 20's along ridge, 32F ish in parking lot.

Snow surface

4" of new low density snow at road level over vegetation and close to 5" above 3,000'.
Very little wind effect seen in this snow, even along Sunburst ridge.


Under the 4-5" of new snow, there is ground at the parking lot, crusty/moist snow up to 3' thick up to 2,500', above 2,500' there is a moist dense and thick layer of snow from the Halloween storm cycle. The Halloween storm looked to have deposited around 6-7' of snow that has now settled to around 4-5'. It was difficult to tell the interface of the storm snow and the older snow from mid-Oct. Total snow depth above 3,500' is around 7-8 feet in non-wind loaded zones.
Dug one pit at 3,700', SW aspect, 35 deg slope, snow depth 7 feet.
ECTX - no weaknesses found in the top 4 feet of the pack. Below this we did not see any weakness either.

Main concerns for today were cornice breaks and glide avalanches.
If the wind blows, the new snow could easily blow into shallow wind slabs quickly.

Photos & Video
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