Observation: Seward

Location: Lost Lake

Route & General Observations

We rode up to Lost Lake to check out snow conditions between storms. There was 6” new snow sitting on a crust in most locations with a bit more snow in sheltered areas. We saw some recent slab avalanches on the north side of Mt. Ascension and some new wet loose from today’s sun. The wind was blowing from the north lightly in the Lost Lake area, but stronger in the Boulder Creek drainage and we saw flagging on Mt. Ascension and Mt. Resurrection. The trail is in good shape from the Lost Lake side.

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

Several recent slab avalanches on the north face of Mt. Ascension and some new wet loose avalanches from the sun on east aspects.

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

Beautiful day with clear skies, temperatures in the 30’s F, and light north wind at 2,000’ near Lost Lake. Once we reached the Boulder Creek drainage the wind was stronger at our elevation, and we saw snow blowing off the peaks of Ascension and Resurrection.

Snow surface

There was about 4” of new snow at the parking lot and 6” above about 1,500’. There was a crust below the new snow in most locations. Some areas had slight wind effect on the surface, but sheltered areas had closer to 8” new snow and no wind effect.


We dug a pit at 1,960’ on a southwest aspect. We did not get any concerning results in our stability tests (CT5 PC and ECTN18 - 11cm down, CT10 RP – 15cm down above the crust, CT12 RP and ECTN25 – 20cm down below the crust, and CT15 PC – 31cm down at a hardness change). The surface snow was warming from the sun as we dug our pit, it was getting more consolidated and heavier as we walked around. All the results we got were within the top 1’ of the snowpack, below that were layers of rounds and crusts and the total depth was almost 8’ deep. Tomorrow there will likely be a new crust on the surface from today’s sun and the new snow from tomorrow’s forecast storm will fall on that crust or soft new snow on north facing aspects.

Photos & Video
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