Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

We started the day looking for avalanches along the highway from Summit Pass to Turnagain Pass. We did not see alarming evidence of a natural avalanche cycle. We toured up the Tincan regular skin track to 2500’ trenching our way through around 15” of new snow. We were looking for signs of recent avalanche activity. We were also curious how the snowpack was adjusting to the storm snow. We did not see recent avalanches, but visibility was not great. Southeast winds continued all day transporting a lot of snow.

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

The sky was partly cloudy mixed with lower valley clouds and the snow finally took a break from falling. Southeast winds were 10–15 mph at treeline in unprotected areas, and gusting ridgeline winds were transporting a lot of snow. Temps were pleasant in the mid 20’s.

Snow surface

The snow surface was soft settled powder in protected areas. Leeward terrain features had firmer transported snow or a soft wind slab on the surface. Ridges were being scoured. At upper elevations cross loading winds had created large snow drifts along gullies.


In most places we received an average of 16” new snow. The storm snow was upside down closer to the highway but less obvious higher up. We dug 2 pits, in and at treeline. There was about 4’ of snow above the 4” thick Thanksgiving crust. There were no new alarming test results in our pit. That being said, crusts can get weaker throughout the season. If anyone saw a slab avalanche today tell us about it!

Photos & Video
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