Observation: Turnagain

Location: Tincan Trees

Route & General Observations

Skinned to tree line, wanted to see impressive results from this storm, didn’t see much. Hippy Bowl looked scoured, snow pack in the trees is still minimal.

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

We saw debris piles and crowns from several natural avalanches along the Seward Highway between Indian and Girdwood, but did not notice any in Turnagain Pass.
We had some very minor whumphing at the top of our tour (2,200'), but much less than expected and nothing that concerned us.

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

Sunny, calm, and warm.
40F at Placer, 34F at Tincan Lot, maybe below freezing at 2,200ft.
We could see snow transport happening from wind on top of Peak 4940 (name? SW end of Turnagain) and off some peaks at the back of Skookum and Spencer glaciers. But, there was only a slight breeze above treeline at Tincan.

Snow surface

loose dry snow, odd since it was so warm.
In some places below 2,000ft there was evidence of a mild wind crust, but not much. Above 2,500, in Hippy Bowl, it looked very scoured.
Snow left on branches throughout Tincan trees, evidence of almost no wind.


We dug a pit at 2,222ft on a NW aspect with a 32deg slope.
depth of snow 33cm
20 cm of old loose dry facets at the bottom, fist hard, then a 2-5mm brittle crust, then 13cm of new snow, 4 finger hard.

CT 1 and ECTP 2, both within the old loose facets near ground. The "propagation" felt more like extended collapse than a true energetic propagation. We did not witness any shooting cracks during our tour, ski cuts were non-productive, and whumphing was minimal and small in size. The snowpack in this area is very weak, but does not seem to be harboring any energy.

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