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Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Route:
Tincan common up track to a high point of 3,000′.

Weather:
Skies partly cloudy with periods of good visibility then periods with no visibility
Intermittent light snow showers
Winds light from the NE above treeline
Temperatures in the upper 20’s F at treeline and low 30’s F at 1,000′

Obvious Signs of Instability:
Recent Avalanches – No
Collapsing – No
Cracking – No

Snow surface conditions:
1 cm of new snow over the course of the day. Soft settled powder below new snow; this sits on top of a crust from 1000′ to 2000′.

Snowpack Observations:
Three snow pits. All targeting a layer of buried surface hoar that has been causing current avalanche concerns.

Pit #1
2100′ South aspect
Total snow depth – 105cm
ECTP 23 RP/SC failing 50cm down on buried surface hoar sitting on a thick melt-freeze crust.
Slab (50cm) had a 5cm melt-freeze layer within (30cm down from surface).

Pit #2
2900′ SW aspect
Total snow depth – 205cm
ECTP 28 RP/SC failing 55cm down on buried surface hoar on a thick melt-freeze crust
ECTN with slab depth 70cm.
Thin area of slab. Average slab depth was 80cm.

Pit #3
3000′ SW aspect
ECTN (no red flag)
PST V – Failure on isolation (big red flag)
Conflicting results in this pit. Interesting. Although, recent avalanche activity trumps all.

Bottom Line for today’s obs:
The Westerly aspects of Tincan up to 3,000′ are showing signs of the buried surface hoar becoming less reactive and adjusting to the load placed on it several days ago (25-30″ from 12/14-12/17). Good sign. BUT, there is very little information for areas above 3,400′ including Hippy Bowl, Tincan Proper and Todd’s Run.

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