Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Common

Route & General Observations

Tincan Common/Hippy Bowl to 3200′

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)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Recent avalanches appeared to just include the last storm's snow... the largest was below CFR ridge with a crown that had blown back in, probably D1.5 in size (photo below). Light was tough, but a similar crown looked to be just below the top of the Eddies ridgeline just after it goes up the Eddies headwall, on a SW aspect. A fairly small debris pile was present below a missing cornice section on the often corniced ridge to skiers right as you descend the run, probably 3000' in elevation. Finally, a shallow slab on the eastern edge of Hippy Bowl and a long running but fairly small debris pile in the steeper slope below Hippy Bowl were also fresh (photos of both below). Despite that long list, not a whole lot of activity given the winds... and we had decent visibility to the south.

One instance of cracking on a fairly steep rollover around 2800', where a 6" slab had formed. Cracking extended 15-20' but was stubborn to initiate.

And finally... a new glide over the Seattle Ridge up-track. See photo below; this one is more centered over the usual track up...

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

Thin high clouds made for broken skies, occasionally still producing a shadow through the cloud cover. Valley fog sitting 1000 - 2000' in elevation for most of the day.
Occasional light variable wind, and HOT.
38 degrees at the lot by 4 PM, and felt above freezing to 2000' by mid-afternoon...

Snow surface

The winds have hit Tincan! ... well below the top of the tree runs in certain locations. Spots with anti-tracks at treeline and along the usual route up common, and rarely more than 1-2" ski penetration above treeline despite recent snow. 2-4" ski pen in the trees, often within dense moist snow.

The warm temps are also hitting Tincan... 3" of dry snow on the surface above 1600' in the AM, with ~6" moist to wet snow below it... but by late afternoon this creeped up. Moist surface - even on fairly shaded NW aspects - up to 2300'. A thin wet layer on the surface below 1800', becoming 1cm of very wet snow by the parking lot level.

INCREDIBLE rollerballs and pinwheel action during the afternoon in the tree runs... see below for photos.


While much of Tincan Common and Hippy Bowl are wind scoured, we went to the east on the common ridge to a spot where a recent wind loaded pocket could be accessed. See below for slab structure and test results at this spot just below ridgeline, including ECTP 24 with a sudden planar fracture character... where the slab slid fast into the pit. No evidence of buried surface hoar at this pit location; the weak layer was 1-2mm decomposing rimed stellars.

Photos & Video
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