Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

Tincan backdoor to the ridge 3200′, above Common Bowl and adjacent to Hippy Bowl
Looking at new snow/old snow interface, previous days reported avalanche activity and the reactivity of facets near the ground. Gained the ridge after a skier had remote triggered an avalanche in Hippy Bowl (see Sean Fallon’s observation). We had heard what we thought was a really loud whumpf and an avalanche while digging our pit 2300′ but didn’t see the avalanche until higher in the tour. The avalanche was large enough to injure or kill a person and slid over the bench towards the valley floor (D2.5).


Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger Yes
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect South Southwest
Elevation 3400ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth2ftWidth 300ft
Vertical Run 2500ft  
Avalanche Details

See Sean Fallon's observation.

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

-Avalanche activity from the previous day on Tincan and the Hippy Bowl avalanche that occurred while we were out. Crown from the avalanche on Eddies (see Andy Moderow's Ob) was observed from our high point on the Tincan Ridge.
-We had two noticeable whumpfs moving near our pit location.
-The cracking in the snow around the Hippy Bowl avalanche is notable.

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

Mostly sunny
Light east wind picking up a bit in the late afternoon
Temps in the 20Fs

Snow surface

Soft powder snow 1.5-2', ski pen around 10''


Compared to observations yesterday the new snow/old snow interface seemed less reactive. Hand/pole cut block pits produced hard results and small rolls didn't crack. Effort was made to get away from previously tracked snow.
Dug two adjacent pits at 2300' on S aspect.
Pit #1 - HS: 110 cm, new snow old snow interface was 60 m down with small surface hoar visible over small (near-surface-facets). ECTP 16 at new/old interface. CT 1 x 2 near ground, ECTP 19 near ground, ECTP 22 near ground. All stability test results occurring near the ground failed in the facets just above a thin melt freeze crust.
Pit #2 - HS: 90 cm new snow old snow was was 45 cm down with the small hoar layer visible small surface hoar visible over small (near-surface-facets). In this pit ECTP 17 and ECTP 11 at new /old interface. In addition, two CTs failed near ground on isolation and ECTP 20 near the ground.
Structure is concerning, especially with large avalanches running on both the weak snow at new/old interface and to the ground today!

Photos & Video
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