Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Trees/CFR

Route & General Observations

We skied a few laps in the Tincan Trees, with a high point on Center Ridge at about 2500′. We were looking at the 3/2 surface hoar layer, as well as fresh wind slabs from the past 24 hours. We found small but reactive wind slabs along CFR, which only involved the new snow. We dug a set of pits at about 1750′ right next to the crown of an avalanche we triggered last week and found the layer of surface hoar we were looking for, but did not get any unstable test results. Light rain at the parking lot at the end of the day, with moist snow to about 1600′.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect West Northwest
Elevation 2500ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 8inWidth 20ft
Vertical Run 100ft  
Avalanche Details

We got one small wind slab to cut loose right off the CFR ridgeline.

Red Flags
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Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Just the small skier-triggered wind slab.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Overcast skies with light northeasterly winds. Temperatures were warm, with light rain up to about 1100', and moist snow on the surface to about 1600'.

Snow surface

Moist to 1600'. We were seeing about 4" new snow from the past two days, with 6-8" snow sitting on top of the 3/2 surface. Fresh wind slabs were up to a foot deep.


The new snow seemed to be stuck on to the old surfaces in our many hand pits along the skin track. We stomped on some small cornice features on convex rolls right around treeline and did not get any significant results.

We dug a set of pits right next to the crown line of the avalanche from 3/6. We were still able to find the layer of buried surface hoar, which was about 2-3mm on average. We could not get the layer to propagate in extended column tests. We did one ECT right on the crown line and did not get propagation there either. This was encouraging to see. More pit info in attached photos.

Photos & Video
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