Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

Toured up to Tincan treeline to do some maintenance on the beaded stream snowpack temperature profile weather station and check on the snow conditions. It was an active storm day so we didn’t make it above the trees due to poor visibility and winds picking up in the afternoon.


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

Light rain up to 1500' in the morning then transitioning to snow above. In the afternoon the snow picked up in intensity and winds also picked up to ~15-20 mph and were actively transporting snow at treeline.

Snow surface

At lower elevations the surface of the snowpack was wet but only the top layer was saturated. Above 1500' the snow surface transitioned to dry snow and provided surprisingly good conditions.


About 50 cm of snow at the trailhead (1100') increasing to 90-100 cm at our high point of 2300'. We dug two snowpits near treeline and found a concerning 5-10 cm thick layer of basal facets (1-2 mm) in both locations. Our extended columns tests all propagated on this layer and there was a sudden collapse character to the failures. This aligns with the widespread avalanche activity that we saw last week following the last major storm cycle which produced avalanche that were very wide and well connected. Definitely a layer to keep and eye on and check for signs of instability.

Photos & Video
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