Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

Standard route to 3250′. Our objective was to assess the snowpack on a loaded North aspect. At 3250′ just before ridge narrows we dug a pit and found 3 foot slab sitting on very weak snow (facets) near the bottom of the snowpack. Tests confirmed that this layer was difficult to trigger, but the very poor structure caused us to not continue along the ridge into steeper terrain. On the surface there was a 4-8″ windslab that failed easily in tests.

Two recent glide avalanches since yesterday, one in Seattle Creek drainage and the other on Eddies.

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 glide avalanches (Eddies SW face, and Seattle Cr. SE aspect)

4" wind slab on North aspect cracked as I was probing test pit site.

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

Sunny becoming cloudy by late afternoon
4F at road level, mid 20F's at ridge tops
NW winds 10-15mph
No precip

Snow surface

In the trees below 1500' there was 4-8" settled powder with surface hoar on top (impressive sizes in some places)
Above this elevation there are variable surfaces, settled powder in the trees mixed with wind stiffened snow.
In the alpine ridge lines are scoured, S aspects have 3" pockets of settled, but heavy powder mixed with breakable wind crusts (1-3" thick.)

There is currently not much snow available for transport in anticipation of a wind event forecast to start tomorrow afternoon.


We probed at 3250' on a North aspect just below the steep ridgeline leading towards upper Hippy Bowl. It was easy to feel weak snow near the ground. The height of snow went from 200cm to 100cm just as it was getting steep. We found a 6-8" wind slab sitting on the surface that was easy to trigger in tests. There was a Fist hard layer (4") of facets (1.5mm in size) on top of a m/f crust near the ground that was reactive, but stubborn to trigger in tests. The fracture plane was in the bottom part of this layer near the crust. See pit diagram below.

Photos & Video
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