Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Trees

Route & General Observations

Touring in the Tincan trees today we experienced the following:

Obvious Signs of Instability:
-Recent avalanches-several short steep slopes had released naturally @ ~2000′
(stayed below treeline)
-2.5 ‘ crowns. Bed surfaces were filled in with 12″ of new snow
-Shooting Cracks-mostly small, the biggest maybe 6 feet from skis
-Collapses-many, average size 50×50 feet?

Surface Obs:
Current Problems-
-unconsolidated surface snow-10-14″ of fist hard snow made it hard to produce
obvious results on ski cuts and informal testing

Pit Results
-we dug to the ground and were able to see the new snow/old snow interface where
the avg HST=115cm (storm snow)
-poor structure at the new snow/old snow interface down to the ground
-October/November snow showing some signs of strengthening but not enough to
feel confident in its ability to handle additional loading

Future Problems:
-concern for when the new slab condenses and behaves more like a slab
-pit results continue to show propagation potential
-slopes that are allowing the buildup of the new slab may take a longer time to
become reactive but will warrant respect for an extended amount of time
-while we may start seeing activity decline after peak loading, the problem of a
persistent weak base will require careful monitoring over time
-obvious signs trumped all pit data!

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