Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Eddie’s

Route & General Observations

In contrast to the other party, we stayed at Eddie’s and adventured up through the rain crust to see what rapid warming can do to a forest full of snow laden trees. And wow, nearly unrecognizable in places such that we lost the trail completely a few times. A few trees snapped under the wet snow load and other trees were completely bent over the trail. Surface rain crust at the parking lot disappeared by about 800 feet. We toured up to the base of the main hemlock band and dug a pit at 1,200 feet.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type GlideAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Saw a glide crack on Seattle Ridge just above the motorized track (see photo).

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Small areas of collapsing just under and around our skis as the crust under the new snow broke. We only observed these collapses in the lower elevation, forested areas; seemed to be less of an issue once we were in the lower meadow.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Overcast and calm for nearly the entire day. Some light breeze in the afternoon. Warm (34 degrees F) at the car and about 10 degrees colder at our high point of 1,200 feet. No precip.

Snow surface

Rain crust at parking lot over 1-3 inches of new snow that changed to about 4 inches of new on top of a stout 2 inch crust in the lower meadow below the hemlock band. That crust supported our weight when skiing down (for the most part) but if your ski went under, then it made for tricky skinning uphill and skiing down too. Lots of tree snow had fallen on the trail and throughout the forest. In places, it looked like an avalanche had come through the woods because of all the icy snow on and around the trail.


We dug a pit at 1,200 feet on an east aspect 25 degree slope just below the main hemlock band. Found about 4 inches of light snow on top of a 1.5-2 inch stout crust layer and other smaller crust layers below that. We got CT11 RP and ECTP11, 20 cm down just under that thick crust layer. There were some additional, thin crust layers 35 cm down from the surface, but we didn’t get any results on those layers. We played around when skiing the crust to get some breaks or failures, but didn’t see anything on the low angle test slopes in the meadow on the descent.

Photos & Video
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