Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

We skied around Tincan, with a high point of around 3000′ on top of Common Bowl. We watched multiple natural avalanches happen, remotely triggered another, and saw evidence of more activity that happened during the day while we were out. Needless to say, things were touchy and we stuck to low angle terrain. The avalanches were failing below yesterday’s storm snow, which was sitting on small (1-2mm) surface hoar and near-surface facets on top of a crust. Natural activity seemed to switch on shortly after the sun poked out.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Yes
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect South Southwest
Elevation 2600ftSlope Angle 36deg
Crown Depth 18inWidth 500ft
Vertical Run 300ft  
Avalanche Details

Multiple avalanches today. Crown depths were consistent and around 14-18", comprised of the new snow from yesterday's storm. The avalanches were failing on small surface hoar (1-2 mm) and near-surface facets, which were sitting on a melt-freeze crust. We watched two natural avalanches happen, remotely triggered one from low-angle terrain connected to a steeper roll, and saw fresh activity that happened near the skin track between laps.

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

Plenty of avalanche activity. We also got one collapse on the skin track just below the ridge (SW aspect, approx. 3000' elevation), and saw shooting cracks on slopes that weren't quite steep enough to slide.

In addition to the larger avalanches in the alpine, we also triggered some really small pockets (10-15' wide, 12" deep) between 2000' and 2500'.

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

Overcast this morning, with increasing sunshine around noon, and clouds rolling back in around 4:00 pm. Winds were light out of the northeast, and temperatures were warm.

Snow surface

The day started off with dry snow on the surface all the way down to the parking lot, but solar aspects quickly became moist when the sun poked out. South aspects went first, but west aspects were soon to follow. We were getting pinwheels and rollerballs right after the sun poked out. There were natural rollerballs on the front side of Seattle Ridge earlier in the day, which was in the sun for most of the morning.


The new snow is sitting on weak surfaces and is very touchy. In addition to the activity already reported on Tincan, we also saw fresh activity on Eddies. We drove to Johnson Pass TH in the afternoon, but the visibility was never really good enough to see anything along the ridgelines.

Besides the weak grain forms below the most recent storm snow, it was also noteworthy that there was moist snow down to at least a foot below the 3/30 crust.

Photos & Video
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