Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan to 2300'

Route & General Observations

Tincan uptrack to Treeline, at 2300′.

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

We observed shooting cracks in the new snow in areas where the snow was more exposed to wind. The snow was breaking 6-18" depending on if it was on a leeward or windward aspect. On a steeper pitch we cut 4' above our skin track and the snow slid onto skin track where it was unsupported. See photo.

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

Rain/snow line: at 11am - 900' at 2:45pm - 1200'
Precip- Snowing above 1200'
Temps- 34F at road level to high 31F at 2300'
Winds-light from the NE

Snow surface

1000'- 2" of wet snow on new snow (~10" new since yesterday)
1500- 2000'- 12" new snow - difficult to distinguish new snow layers from snow over the last week
2200-2300' - 8-15" new snow depending on aspect to wind (leeward vs. windward)

*At Sunburst parking lot - 8" new snow (top 2" very wet)


Pit at 2250' - didn't find the buried surface hoar layer found last weekend in a similar area. HS~125cm, SSE aspect, 28* slope, 15" new snow, upright snowpack above stout melt/freeze crust, Test results: ECTN6 and ECTN9 both failed at slight density changes in new snow. No propagation potential was found and the only instability we found at density changes in the new snow.

Hand pit at 2300' on WSW aspect - 15" new snow failed easily. This was a leeward exposure where slab was denser (4F hard) and cracked easily under skis.

Dug a quick pit in similar area on a NE aspect to investigate new snow stability. 8-10" of new surface snow failed easily with Shovel Tilt Test on density changes in new snow.

*In general the new snow was becoming more cohesive as the day proceeded due to rising temperatures. Above 2000' where snow was more wind affected, the slab cracked easily in places where it was unsupported. This wind affected snow was more supportable and 'slab like'.

Photos & Video
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