Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

Toured up the standard skin track to the top of Common. We dug pits at 2200 feet and 3100 feet. Rain yesterday and today left a breakable crust up to 2500 feet. Conditions improved with elevation.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect North
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Visibility was poor, but we could see some debris at the bottom of Elevator Shaft. This likely ran naturally on Monday night or Tuesday during the day.

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

Avalanche debris from the storm visible in some of the paths above the Hwy south of Girdwood. New debris noted at the bottom of the Elevator Shaft. We did not see any recent avalanche activity off of Seattle Ridge when we had a window of vis. Did not get a good look at any terrain further south in the Pass.

We got some shooting cracks in the new snow near the top of Common bowl. Stiffer/slabby snow in this area along the ridge.

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

Mixed rain and snow in the morning becoming all snow in the afternoon. Wind speeds were light, direction was variable. Skies were overcast to obscured most of the day, but there were a few brief windows of improved visibility.

Snow surface

Breakable rain crust up to 2500 feet. Some slopes had runnels from the rain. A combination of dense new and wind-transported snow above 2500 feet. Snow quality improved with elevation.


Average height of snow from 1000'-3100' was 170 cm/5.5 feet. Moist facets at the base of the pit @2200'. We did not dig to the ground at 3100' but probing drops at the bottom indicative of a weak layer.

Below 2500 feet: New snow was heavy and wet, with enough liquid water flowing through it to make the pit wall wet. There was about a foot of new snow, which was capped by a crust earlier in the day. Below 2000 feet, the crust had melted by 3:00 pm. Multiple wet layers in the middle of the snowpack as well. Nothing was reactive in stability tests.

Above 2500 feet: About a foot of new snow, with moderate wind loading in some S and W aspects. Lots of mini cornice features along terrain features. Stiff snow and baby sastrugi along the last pitch of the Common uptrack. Snow got drier with elevation. Saw some shooting cracks within the new snow at the ridge. Could not get anything to fail in stability tests, but we did get some clean shears in a upper storm interface with shovel tilt tests. Similar depth to cracking along ridgeline.

Photos & Video
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