Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Trees

Route & General Observations

Tincan to 2250′ via backdoor route (Center Ridge parking lot)

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

Debris from avalanches in the past week evident below gullies of Seattle Ridge and in elevator shaft (north aspect Sunburst), but start zones were generally blown back in.

Some minor roller balls present on NW aspect of Center Ridge, initiating near 1500'. Light was fairly flat with definition difficult to see, but at the elevations observed (1000' and higher) and for slopes we got eyes on (generally not the steepest solar aspects) it doesn't seem like there's been a widespread wet loose problem in this area.

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

Overcast skies turning broken by evening
Sun poked through clouds enough to cast shadows
WARM down low - 40s at 2 PM, mid-30s at 5:30 PM
Below freezing (20s) at treeline
Light north wind above 1500'

Snow surface

... in summary, wet, crusty, and/or wind blasted! Grabby or nasty breakable crust along the entire route

Parking lot to 1100':
3-5cm wet / very wet melt forms over 30cm of moist dense snow, below that dry
Minor runnels observed on slopes, obvious places water would flow

1100' - 1500':
1-3cm wet/very wet 2mm melt forms over 1-4cm of moist dense rounds
This sat on a pencil hard thin breakable rain crust (formed 2/12 - 2/13?)
Below that crust, 15-20cm of moist dense snow
Runnels rare and only in obvious places where water would channel

1500' - 2000:
Breakable melt freeze crust on surface, getting smaller with elevation
This sat over 5-15cm of moist dense snow (dry below that)
2000 - 2200': Dry, wind blasted snowpack with ski penetration of 0 - 10 cm

Steep solar facing slopes above 1500' showed slightly more melting than northerly features, but overall to treeline warm temperatures seemed to have driven the bulk of the meltdown observed. Overall, we found it surprising that the snowpack wasn't more saturated at lower elevations given the duration of warm weather.


See snow pit structure and stability test results (unremarkable on the January facet layer) below!

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.