Route & General Observations
We snowmachined up to the Lost Lake area today from the Lost Lake trailhead just outside Seward. The last 3 days in Seward have been extremely windy and heavy wind loading and active snow transport can be seen all over. Loading seems particularly heavy on SE aspects. The attached photo shows a Southeasterly aspect that was so heavily loaded a natural slab avalanche several feet thick occurred. All of the loose snow prior to this wind even can and has resulted in some very large thick wind slabs. Be careful out there!
|Trigger||Natural||Avalanche Type||Hard Slab||Aspect||Southeast|
|Elevation||1500ft||Slope Angle||unknown||Crown Depth||unknown|
Crown and bed depth were several feet based on size of chunks in debris pile at bottom. Many even larger natural slab avalanches at higher elevations. There are undoubtedly lots of hidden hazards easily triggered from thinner sections off rollovers, ridgelines or rock bands.
Obvious signs of instability
|Recent Avalanches?||Yes||Collapsing (Whumphing)?||No||Cracking (Shooting cracks)?||Yes|
Heavy winds (20+ mph sustained in exposed areas). Sunny, clear, cold (teens)
Wind hammered on most aspects. Difficult travel in heavily scoured areas due to large wind lips and deep satstrugi. Cold dry powder in protected areas...just have to look for it 🙂
Hard wind slabs on most surfaces with faceted snow beneath (can stick a snowmachine if you saw through the wind slab).