Observation: Seward

Location: Carter Lake

Route & General Observations

Snowmachined from Carter Lake to Crescent Lake looking for recent avalanche activity and to see if this area also harbored a new weak layer, similar to the weak layer we have seen in Summit. We saw avalanches on all aspects: winds slabs and slabs looking like they likely failed on a persistent layer as well as active wet loose avalanches on south faces. Between the recent avalanche activity and the results in the snowpit, we decided to stay away from avalanche terrain. There was 4-8″ soft snow with light winds and clear skies. It felt like the first day of spring!

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

Extensive avalanche activity on all slopes:
North, West, East slopes: Old and newer wind slabs stepping down into persistent slabs, as well as persistent slabs.
South: Active wet loose avalanche activity.

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

Clear skies, light winds with no visible flagging on the ridgetops. It was warm in the sun with snow melting off hemlocks, and rollerballs rolling down the slope.

Snow surface

There was about 4-8" of soft snow where you could find it. The surface had minimal wind affect until you got on to Crescent Lake. In some places solar aspects had a thin sun crust on the surface.


We dug a pit on at 2,000' on a west slope. In general, the Presidents Day crust had facets underneath it. In snow test it seems this weak layer was becoming more stubborn. We also saw extensive avalanche activity on north, west, and east faces that likely failed on a persistent layer. Although this test was not extremely concerning, the amount of avalanche activity is telling us that the snowpack is still capable of avalanching. We also saw active wet loose avalanches on south aspects.

Photos & Video
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