Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

We toured up to 2600′, and dug at 2200′. High quality snow overall, little signs of wind transport below 2500′. We saw moderate winds and recent loading once we got above treeline, and were able to get some chunks of wind slab to break on small rollovers.

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

We were able to get some shooting cracks and small chunks of wind slabs to break on small rollovers once we got above treeline, around 2500'.

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

Light snow for most of the day. Winds were calm until we got above treeline, where they picked up to moderate. Skies were trying to clear up in the afternoon, but the clouds only broke up for a few minutes before it got socked in again.

Snow surface

1000': approx. 6-8" new snow from last night. A little hard to distinguish the new/old interface. Was all snow this morning, but we noticed wet snow on the surface on our way out- the rain line must have crept up to right around 1000' while we were higher up. Total snow depth 6-7'.

1500': approx. 10" new snow. Total snow depth around 8'.

2200': 12" new snow. Total depth approx 7'.

2600: Fresh wind loading, but still soft enough for good skiing. Ski penetration about 6".


From pits on a SW aspect at 2200': We dug on a slope that did not have any recent wind loading. Total depth was 220 cm (approx. 7'), with a foot of new snow. The 12/1 crust was buried about 3-4' deep, and was notably more breakable than the last time Eric or I had dug in this area (about a week ago for both of us). It seems the bottom half of the crust/facet combo, which was previously knife-hard, had started to facet recently. The layer failed in a compression test (CT13), but did not show any results in extended column tests. We did not see any other layers of concern in the upper 5' of the snowpack.

(More pit info in attached profile)

Photos & Video
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