Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Common Uptrack/ Sunburst Uptrack

Route & General Observations

Alaska Pacific University Snow Science 1 & 2 students toured Tincan & Sunburst to check out glide cracks & growing cornices & to identify major layers in the current snowpack.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

No obvious signs of instability observed.

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

Overcast skies in the morning changed into obscured with dropping cloud ceiling in the afternoon.
Very light snow started falling ~2:30pm, no real accumulation by the time we returned to the vehicle.
Calm winds.
Temperatures were surprisingly cool in the morning, 18F, temperatures warmed slightly throughout the day.

Snow surface

Spectacular surface hoar growth on top of the snowpack all the way up to 2400'. In places it was in small needle forms, but there were some potato chip size specimens at lower meadows. This will be the layer to track with the next storm, unless wind does its number.

On southerly aspects, especially on steeper slopes, we found a fairly significant 1-2cm sun crust. It acted like a breakable crust and might not be the best skiing to be had.

We did not observe any solar effects on snow surface today with overcast skies and cooler air temps.


We did not find any specific layers of concern in our snowpits in either location. HS 240-290cm at 2300'. We had only one or two small column test produce any results (except on the southerly test slopes the suncrust on the surface kept failing on isolation).

We did not see any recent cornice failures.

The glide cracks are indeed spectacular at the pass right now. We observed some fairly recent blocks broken off below a glide crack (right next to the uptrack few hundred feet below reaching the ridge). It seems like Seattle Ridge side is one big glide crack. If someone has not gone by to check out these beasts -from a safe distance- I highly recommend it, it's worth your time.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.