Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Trees

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

We skied a few laps in the trees, finding really touchy storm slabs! Just about everything that was steep enough would slide easily with a ski cut, with crown depths around 6-8″. It was just barely snowing at the parking lot at 9:30 this morning, but it looked like the rain line had crept up to around 1200-1400′ overnight. Winds picked up during the day, and there was a lot of active loading going on by the time we headed back to the cars.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Soft Slab
Aspect UnknownElevationunknown
Slope Angle 32degCrown Depth 6in
Width 300ftVertical Run 50ft
Avalanche Details

We saw a lot of fresh storm slab avalanches on short, steep rollovers throughout the Tincan Trees. Most of these were 20-50' wide, but the biggest one propagated around 300' on a slightly wind-loaded convexity. None of the avalanches we saw would have been big enough to bury a person, but we weren't even thinking about stepping into bigger terrain. Most were skier triggered, but there were some natural avalanches as well.

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

Steady rain on the drive up all the way to the parking lot, but it was just barely snowing at the lot. Snow continued through the day, and NE winds picked up around 2000'. It was a wet and windy day out there.

Snow surface

Around 6" new snow since yesterday. The snow got lighter as we gained elevation. It looked just about perfect for building wind slabs- light enough to blow around, but sticky enough to form a cohesive slab.

Snowpack

The most recent snow was sitting on a layer of low-density snow from 1/14. The heavier snow from last night and today was very touchy, and it was easy to trigger avalanches on any kind of steeper terrain.

We didn't dig any pits, but I stuck a probe in at about 2200' and got a total depth of around 350 cm (11.5')!

Photos & Video
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