Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Center Ridge, Sunburst and Tincan Trees.

Route & General Observations

Summary from the last three days during the Alaska Avalanche School level one course. We had groups travel on Sunburst, Center Ridge and Tincan from the center ridge parking lot. Observations limited to treeline and below. Observation also limited with low visibility and zero visibility above tree line.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type0Aspect Northwest
Elevation 2000ftSlope Angle 33deg
Crown Depth 10inWidth 20ft
Vertical Run 20ft  
Avalanche Details

Two small storm snow avalanches observed on rolls just below the Tincan weather station area on Sunday early afternoon.

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)?Yes
Observer Comments

Two small natural avalanches. One long shooting crack. Recent heavy precipitation and wind loading.

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

Lots of new snow and wind at and above treeline over the last three days as noted on advisory.

Snow surface

Wet new snow at road level, dense new snow above 1,200 ft. and dryer new wind effected snow at and above treeline. Ski quality was poor at low elevations on Saturday, the new snow down low on Sunday improved the ski quality.


Lots of quick traveling tests and many snowpits were dug at various elevations and aspects up to treeline over the last 3 days. Besides recent storm snow instabilities easily found in hand pits and snowpits we did not have significant results to report. Snowpack higher in the alpine would have likely been very touchy with all the new snow and wind.