Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan

Route & General Observations

Lots of snow…Our skin track wallowed through around 2.5ft of snow since yesterday morning. We made it to 1,600ft before we had to turn around. We were trying to see how much new snow had fallen and to see how it was bonding to lower layers. We could not see any new avalanche activity due to low clouds and snowy conditions. We noticed the snow was breaking easily about 1.5ft down in hand shear tests and the surface warmed up in the afternoon resulting in heavier snow on top of lighter snow. These are two things to look out for and assess as the snow will need time to stabilize from the storm.

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

Low clouds and snow continued all day. Light wind that occasionally blew snow off of trees. It warmed up in the afternoon to just under freezing.

Snow surface

We were surrounded by soft pow. We did not see wind affected snow, however we only made it to 1600'.


We dug a pit at 1600ft on a southwest aspect. Our pit tests did not produce concerning results but with 2.5ft of new snow added to the snowpack it will need time to adjust. We did find that the storm snow broke easily about a 1.5ft down as we skinned, and the upper layer was getting heavier on our way back to the car. In general, heavy snow on top of lighter snow can be a recipe for an avalanche so time and deep hand sheer tests could give information on how well these layers are bonding.

Photos & Video
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