Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Library

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Skinned back to back to the Library in flat light, picked our objective couloir and skinned/booted up the next chute back following partially filled in tracks from Saturday. In lower half of ascent couloir found stiff sluff/spindrift debris, with small pockets of un-reactive fresh wind slab 1-3 inches thick near the edges of the chute that disappeared as we climbed higher. Light but continuous spindrift continued to roll down the couloir throughout our ascent. Upon reaching the ridgeline, we estimated the breeze to be 5-10 mph with few gusts to 15, and were engulfed in a brief snow squall while traversing over to our chosen line. Snow in the descent couloir was stiff but soft, having been skied the day before, and sluffed enough to keep our attention. Let guard down upon exiting the couloir and popped a small D1 soft slab out of an obvious pocket of wind deposition. Good reminder for us that just because the objective line was safe and completed, we were still in avalanche terrain and needed to stay on our toes and pay attention! Remainder of the apron skied great, quiet day in the Library, seems everyone got their fill on Sat.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Soft Slab
Aspect SouthwestElevation 2500ft
Slope Angle 39degCrown Depth 4in
Width 15ftVertical Run 50ft
Avalanche Details

First turn in upper apron below couloir, pocket of fresh soft wind deposit between debris cones popped loose under skis and ran about 50 ft. Skier was not caught. Crown depth varied from an estimated 1-6 inches. The pocket was protected from sluff by rock buttress immediately overhead and had cross loaded behind the debris cones from the adjacent couloirs.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Very small pockets (1-2') wide of soft wind deposit at edges of ascent couloir, which would fracture when making kick turns but could not be made to release.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Weather

Skiff of fresh snow. Breezy but not windy. 10-15F.

Snow surface

Soft, fresh wind deposit between sluff deposits.

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