Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Trees

Route & General Observations

Quick tour up to treeline on Tincan to see how things have changed over the past week. Snowpack was wet and unsupportable up to around 1500′, with a just barely supportable melt/freeze layer above that. I dug a quick pit at 2300′ on a north aspect and did not see anything concerning in the pit. Ski quality was surprisingly good above 1600′ or so and very challenging below that.

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

Raining along Turnagain Arm on the drive up, but quickly turning to snow right around Ingram. 34 F and snowing in the parking lot, with the cloud ceiling around 1500' at noon. Clouds lifted by 2 pm, with the sun trying to poke through. Calm winds throughout.

Snow surface

Trace to 2" new snow on the surface. Just below that, melt/freeze surfaces were in the melt phase of their lifespan up to around 1500', making travel a challenge. Barely supportable from 1600-2300', with surprisingly good skiing. Felt like the kind of surface that would support a skier but not a snowmachine.


I dug a quick pit at 2300' on a north aspect and did not see any cause for concern. The 3/9 surface hoar layer was identifiable about 2' deep but not reactive (ECTX). Surprisingly, only the upper 6" or so of the snowpack were moist or wet between 1800' and 2300'. Stability seemed good at the mid elevations. The alpine is a bit of a mystery, with very little traffic at upper elevations over the past week.

Photos & Video
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