Observation: Turnagain

Location: Taylor Pass

Route & General Observations

We toured up to Taylor Pass with high hopes of getting back to Pastoral but turned back because strong winds doing some pretty serious loading at the pass. We dug one pit on our way back down at 2850′, finding the now familiar structure of a stiff slab on top of facets on top of a crust, but were encouraged to see the facet layer showing signs of gaining strength.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Major wind loading going on today, with strong winds almost all the way back down to the highway.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Strong westerly winds made it hard to walk along the ridge. Skies were partly cloudy. Luckily temps were in the low 20's, otherwise it would have been tough staying out there today.

Snow surface

Various wind-damaged surfaces. Punchy slabs in gullies that were collecting wind-transported snow, firm surfaces on ridge features that had been scoured. Some east and north facing slopes appeared to have enough fresh wind loading that we didn't feel good about dropping down the east side of Taylor Pass to continue to Pastoral.


Similar structure to the rest of Turnagain pass. about a 3' thick stiff slab on top of 6-8" facets, on top of a crust. The good news is that the facet layer appears to be gaining strength and is noticeably harder now than it was a week ago.

Pit details (WNW aspect, 2850' el.):
- Total depth: 230 cm
- 3' thick, 1F hard slab, with 6" F+ soft snow on top
- 6" 1F-4F+ rounding facets
- P hard melt-freeze (Halloween) crust
Stability tests: ECTX (x3), PST 51/100 END on the middle of the facet layer.

Photos & Video
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