Avalanche: Seward

Location: Lost Lake

Route & General Observations

We made a last minute change of plans to ride Lost Lake this morning after getting impatient waiting for the clouds to clear at Turnagain Pass. We found great riding conditions with about a foot of new snow on top of a very stout crust. With that much storm snow and limited visibility for most of the day, we stuck in the trees and played around in mellow terrain. We were able to trigger some mini avalanches on small but steep wind-loaded terrain features. We noticed one large natural avalanche on Tiehacker across the valley, and three human-triggered avalanches on Tincan on the drive home. We also noticed a large section of the glide crack on Eddie’s had released sometime over the past few days.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect West
Elevation 2200ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 18inWidth 250ft
Vertical Run 800ft  
Avalanche Details

Natural avalanche on Mt. Tiehacker. Dimensions are estimated from several miles away, so they may be off.

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)?Yes
Observer Comments

Shooting cracks and small wind slab avalanches while cutting wind-loaded test slopes. Snowmachines were also bulldozing a lot of heavy wet snow at lower elevations, especially later in the day when the sun came out.

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

Skies were fully cloudy this morning, but the clouds gave way to sunshine in the afternoon. Temperatures were right around freezing, and we noticed the snow getting hot and heavy on our ride back to the parking lot at the end of the day. Winds were light out of the south.

Snow surface

There was around a foot of new snow on top of a very stout crust. Some wind loaded slopes had slabs that were over 3 feet deep.


We noticed one large slab avalanche across the valley on Tiehacker that looked to have failed at the new snow/old snow interface (we were looking at this from several miles away so take it with a grain of salt). We were also able to trigger small wind slab avalanches on short but steep terrain features. We didn't get anywhere near anything that could produce a big avalanche, but it sure seemed like if we were on a big wind loaded slope we would make a big avalanche. It also seemed like a good thing that the sun stayed behind the clouds for most of the day; a hot sunny day would likely produce a big avalanche cycle with all of this storm snow sitting on a firm crust. We didn't dig any pits today.

Photos & Video
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