Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Trees

Route & General Observations

Quick lap in the Tincan Trees this afternoon to look at storm totals and see if the old snow had a chance to freeze before the storm. It was barely snowing at the top of the pass, with 2-4″ wet snow just out of the parking lot. By 2000′ there was about a foot of new snow sitting on top of a thin crust. Elevations below 1800′ had not gotten a chance to refreeze before the snow came.

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

I was able to get some shooting cracks stomping around on steep rollovers.

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

Obscured skies with heavy snowfall. Wind was moderate out of the northeast, picking up intensity as we gained elevation. It was raining hard for most of the drive up, turning to mixed precip around 900' and mostly snow by 1100'.

Snow surface

2-4" new wet snow just out of the parking lot. 4-6" heavy wet snow around 1500'. 12-14" new snow above 2000'.


The old snow was wet up to about 1800'. In our snowpit at 2000', the old snow surface had refrozen into a thin crust. Below the 12-14" new snow there was another 12-18" wet snow, with moist snow below that. See photos for details.

I did not get any unstable test results in the one pit I dug. I would be really surprised if the snow looked that stable in upper elevations, where the wind was blowing harder, and there were facets and surface hoar on the surface ahead of this storm. The lack of refreeze below 1800' is definitely a concern for wet slab activity looking ahead.

Photos & Video
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