Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan to 3200'

Route & General Observations

Standard uptrack to the top of Common bowl. Checking out stability after the storm. Looking for the presence of buried surface hoar under the 12/31 storm snow, and the effect of the high winds at upper elevations.

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)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Multiple shallow (10-30cm) small natural storm slab avalanches observed from 2000' and up. Most looked to have slid during storm and had some new snow on top. Some without new snow in terrain below Hippy Bowl and some small wind slabs in Hippy bow.
Small slabs in steep terrain along gullies and rollovers below 2000' near uptrack.
Crowns observed and small debris piles into Todds
Few shooting cracks observed, primarily in upper elevation band, above 2300' primarily in wind loaded areas.
Collapsing observed later in the day below 1500' skiing down.
One new glide release on Seattle Ridge south towards Bertha Creek parking.

Three natural avalanches (two Kern paths and one Petersen path) observed along the Seward Highway in between Girdwood and the Portage turn-off.

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

Clear-few sky
Trace Precip (NO-S-1)
Temps in the low 30s
Calm Winds

Snow surface

Soft new snow/settled powder with some rimed particles
approx 12" new snow - lower elevations
approx 20" new snow - mid elevations
Ski pen approx 4-6" above 2500'
Transport and wind effected noted near and above treeline.


Primarily evaluated the existence and reactivity of the buried surface hoar layer. We found the distinct presence of surface in every elevation band besides our highest point, in which we did have a layer change but could not find surface hoar particles.

BSH depth @ 1000' -30cm

Test Pit #1- Tincan uptrack - 1500' - NW Aspect
BSH down 35cm
ECTN20 down 35cm on BSH
ECTP29 down 35cm on BSH

Test Pit #2- Tincan Above Treeline - 2713' - W Aspect - HS:290cm
BSH down 55cm
ECTN28 down 10cm
ECTN20 down 55cm on BSH

Test Pit #3- Upper Tincan - 3000' - SW Aspect - HS:185cm
ECTN10 down 10cm
ECTP21 down 30cm

Photos & Video
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