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Observation: Turnagain

Location: Portage Valley and Tin Can

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Weather:
Light winds and 32 degrees at 1000’, moderate winds from the east and 30 degrees
at treeline. Snowing hard 1+” an hour for several hours throughout the day.
Skies completely obscured all day.

Signs of instability:
Natural avalanche in Portage Valley (5 Fingers path) Wednesday morning that
covered both lanes of the road for about 350’. Debris was 5-6’ deep and took
out several trees. (see photo below) Weak layer is very likely the late January
facet/ crust combo.
No other signs of instability noted in Turnagain today though a big red flag is
the high rate of loading today due to the storm intensity.

Surface conditions:
18-36” of storm snow since Monday night in the Turnagain area. Heavy and wet at
1000’, drying out as you gain elevation. Storm snow seems to be bonding fairly
well to underlying layers and should continue to do so as it settles out. We
did not make it above treeline today though I suspect wind slabs and large,
tender cornices are forming.

Concerns:
Storm snow avalanches at all elevations as this latest shot of moisture settles
out and becomes a cohesive slab. Wind slab and cornices above treeline and a
persistent slab between 1500-3000’, where late January facet/ crust combo exists.

Photos & Video
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