Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

Did some road obs down to Johnson Pass then skied up to treeline on Tincan.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Saw several avalanches from the road today. I think most were in the D2 to D2.5 size range but it is hard to be confident from afar with poor visibility. There was a cluster of 3 large debris piles on the SE aspect of peak 4940' which released somewhere between 2500 - 3500'. These all looked like they had some cross loading in gully features. There was another large release on a SE aspect further north along Seattle ridge, almost across from the Sunburst parking lot. From a distance it was hard to tell if these released just the storm snow for the past few days or if they released on a deeper weak layer.

There was also an avalanche at about 2200' on the NW aspect of Magnum. With the poor visibility I couldn't tell if this released up higher and ran down to treeline or if the crown was just on the lowest steep roll on the NW aspect of Magnum.

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 about 750' then light snow above. Winds were calm to light on Tincan. Temperatures were around 35 F at sea level and 32 F at the top of the pass.

Snow surface

There was a trace of fresh snow on top of a large melt freeze crust. Below about 2000' the crust was breakable and about 5 cm thick. Above 2000' there was more fresh dry snow on the surface and the melt freeze layer underneath was supportable. I only made it up to 2200'.


Dug a snowpit at 2200' on a N aspect near the top of treeline. There was about 15 cm of dry new snow above a 15 cm thick supportable melt freeze crust. The new snow seemed to be bonding to the melt freeze crust fairly well. The most concerning layer was the old snow surface which was 45 cm down. This layer propagated about 1/2 way across the ECT on 19 taps and failed on 18 taps from the CT. All the wet new snow is adding a lot of strength to the upper snowpack at this elevation and helping to bury those persistent weak layers.

Photos & Video
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