Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

Standard uptrack to 2800′

We want to recognize the group on the skin track in front of us. They stopped and practiced rescue skills today! Great thing to do with your backcountry crew! Nice work!

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)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Lots of whumpfing and shooting cracks, one small avalanche off of CFR ridge, hand pits failing on isolation

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

A few snowflakes falling on and off throughout the day
ENE winds in the teens
Mid 30Fs at Center Ridge 1880', low 20Fs at Sunburst 3812'
Rain falling @ 700' as we traveled down from the pass.

Snow surface

New snow slightly grabby (upside down), 4-6"
At treeline and above wind effected, in some spots scoured back down the melt-freeze crust, drifted in others.
Cornice formation along ridge lines.


1000': 3 mm facets below snow from November 20th and last night. Large whumpfs and cracking
Around 1600' the melt freeze crust starts that is under the facets and the more recent storms. Widespread whumpfing and cracking continue, hand pits failed on isolation up to 2200'. Wind effect is evident around treeline and above. Cracking and whumpfing are more isolated. The snowpack above the melt freeze crust is variable due to wind transport. There are pockets of wind deposited snow with facets below and pockets without. Snowpit @ 2800', W aspect showed basal facets as well as facets above the crust (see photo). ECT P 16 failed on November 20th snow (2") that had begun to facet above old wind crust and below fresh snow.
Where we traveled there was just not quite enough slab. Steep wind loaded slopes were definitely suspect and there was some stiffer snow in wind effected areas but the overall snowpack was just on the edge. A little more wind and or snow may really tip the balance. The structure with the weak snow over ground or mf crust has the potential to propagate and avalanche with a more substantial slab.

Photos & Video
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