Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Common

Route & General Observations

Beautiful sunny day, some soft snow. Much more wind effect than expected right down to road level. Noticeable heating of surface snow by our 3 PM finish, though not yet wet or gloppy.

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

With significant effort, was able to make wind slabs break and slide down from Tincan Common Ridge-line, into Tod's bowl. These were at most 10' wide x 5' long. Slabs seemed not to be cohesive, as areas I would have expected to all slide at once, went in pieces as a walked through the slab.

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

Splitter blue. Seemingly low winds on Tincan, though snow ribbons observed on nearby high alpine mountain tops. -2c at car at start 10am, +2c at finish 3pm.

Snow surface

Variable. Mostly of soft wind slabs within treeline, at treeline. Variable in alpine - soft wind effected snow (5-10cm ski penetration), hard wind slabs, sastrugi on ridge top. Yesterday's skin track was 50%-100% filled in depending on aspect. Snow surface was more moist in the afternoon. Not significantly wet. I'd wager that there are some pockets of soft snow elsewhere in the area, but the best alpine snow we found was in the West / Southwest Tincan Common aspect.


No formal stability tests. Observed variable surface conditions and densities with pole probing.