Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

Skied N, W, and SW aspects on Tincan, digging a pit at about 3100′ on a N aspect. We found a new crust on SW-SE aspects, with mostly dry snow on W-N aspects. We got some sluffing on steep northerly slopes, but no other signs of instability. The sun stayed behind the clouds for most of the day so surfaces remained dry while we were out.

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

Mostly cloudy skies with brief periods of sun filtering through the clouds. Light southerly winds picking up in the afternoon, but not enough to move snow around while we were out. Temperatures were warm but the snow surface remained dry on all aspects, at least until 4:00 pm or so when we headed back down.

Snow surface

South through southeast aspects had a new sun crust that was covered by a dusting of new snow. Westerly through northerly aspects had 6-8" new snow on top of older firm surfaces.


From snowpit at 3130' on a northeast aspect (total depth 265 cm):
We were able to find a layer of surface hoar about 18" down, which was unreactive in stability tests and stubborn to pry out of the pit with a shovel. Test results:
ECTN12 down 20 cm at the new/old interface. Assuming this new snow includes everything we have gotten since the wind event Saturday afternoon/evening.
ECTN24 down 30 cm below a 1F wind slab (likely from the 3/27 winds).
ECTN34 (4 stout 'bonus taps') on a layer of buried surface hoar 45 cm down.
More snowpack info in attached snowpit profile.

Our key takehomes were (1) the soft snow at the surface was easy to get moving on steep slopes, (2) the 3/9 surface hoar layer is still present, although stubborn, and (3) the sun is having a strong effect on the solar aspects, but it has not been warm enough yet to see any signs of melting on the northerly aspects.

Photos & Video
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