Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Trees

Route & General Observations

We toured up to treeline on Tincan to take a look as the next round of stormy weather approaches. It was snowing and blowing for most of the day, and we triggered two small avalanches on steep slopes that were actively being wind loaded.

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)?No
Observer Comments

We triggered two small avalanches on short but steep test slopes near treeline on the south side of Tincan. The were 6-10" deep and 10-25' wide.

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

Light but steady snowfall all day, with around 2-3" on the truck that fell between 10:30 and 3:30. Winds were strong out of the east. Clouds barely broke up to let some light through just before sunset.

Snow surface

Plenty of soft snow on the surface. It remaind untouched by winds below around 2000', and was getting blown into soft slabs between 2000' and our high point at 2200'.


We dug one pit on a southeast aspect at 2200'. This was on a slope that had a very thin (~2" thick) soft wind slab on the surface. Total depth was only 4 feet in this pit, which seems on the thinner side for the area in general. We did not get any alarming stability test results, but the layer of faceting snow above the Thanksgiving crust was easy to identify in the pit wall, and facets are becoming more developed when we look at them under a lens. It is not clear how much of a load it will take to push this layer to its breaking point.

See photos for more detailed snowpit info.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.