Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

Tincan ridge to the bottom of Common bowl, at about 2400′. We dug a pit on a SW aspect at the top of one of the runs going down to the creek, and got really weak test results on a fresh wind slab that was about 10″ thick. We found the same fresh wind slabs shearing easily in hand pits on our way up, and got one steep slope to avalanche with a ski cut.

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

We got one positive ski cut on a wind-loaded roll. The slab that released was 6-18" thick. We also stomped around on and ski cut several other steep rolls without any results.

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

Periods of heavy rain on the drive up, transitioning to snow around 900'. There was a break in precipitation from about 11:00-1:30. Light to moderate NE winds with strong gusts, with blowing snow above about 1800'. I didn't measure temperatures, but it was warm enough to have moisten the upper snowpack to 1800' or so.

Snow surface

Widespread wind effect above 1800', with tender wind slabs 3-10" deep on some slopes, and anti-tracks on others. The fresh wind slabs were punchy and made for challenging skiing on some spots. Moist snow in the upper 6" or snow up to 1800', with a saturated snow surface to 1600'.


We found fresh wind slabs shearing with hardly any effort in hand pits all along the skin track, starting at just under 2000'. The slabs were failing on a layer of low-density snow that likely came from Monday night's storm. Probing at 1600', we found a total depth of 280-300 cm (110-120"), with a stout (New Year's??) crust buried 145 cm (5') deep.

We dug a pit on a SW aspect at 2300' near some of the popular south-facing skiing terrain below Common Bowl, and got poor stability test results (ECTP5, ECTP12) on the same layer we were finding in our hand pits. We intentionally dug on a slope that had seen recent wind loading, with a new wind slab that was about 10" thick. More pit info in attached profile and photos.

Photos & Video
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