Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tin Can (@ top of trees)

Route & General Observations

We skied Tin Can from the trees and then from the top because the weather cleared in the afternoon and visibility of all of Turnagain Pass cleared significantly. We saw no signs of instability throughout our ski day anywhere on Turnagain Pass.

We dug 2 compression tests on a NW facing slope on a ~32 degree micro rollover near the area where the general skin route leaves the last trees and starts up the Tin Can Ridge. The compression tests were 10 m apart. Results of one test was hard results: CT25 Q3 failing at 35cm on a very inconsistent weak layer of bonding between a Melt-freeze crust? and faceted snow. There were no results on the 2nd compression test pit: CT30+. A shovel shear of that pit failed at 45cm, Q2 on top of a thick (10 cm) melt-freeze layer that is sitting on the ground.

FORECASTERS COMMENT: It sounds like the weaknesses in these pits consisted of the old faceted snow sitting generally in the middle of the pack and sometimes around crusts. These faceted layers are stubborn with hard pit results, as this observer noted. However, the layer is widespread and will be suspect when more snow/rain is added to it.