Observation: Seward

Location: Lost Lake

Route & General Observations

We rode up to Lost Lake to check out the snowpack before a storm is forecast to bring 5 to 7 inches of new snow to the area accompanied by strong southeast winds tomorrow. The visibility was poor while we were up there, so we stuck to the trees just south of the lake. The surface conditions had firmed up quite a bit since we were here last week. There was a 1 to 3” crust on the surface in most places that was noticeable on a machine, but we were still able to get on edge with a bit more effort than usual.


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

The visibility was poor so we weren’t able to get a good look around. There were some recent wet loose avalanches and roller balls on a southeast facing slope at about 1,700’.

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

It was a low visibility day with south wind in the 5 to 10 mph range with some higher gusts at our elevation, which topped out just above 2,000’. Temperatures were likely in the low 30s F. It snowed lightly in the form of graupel during much of our ride. The precipitation tapered off and the sun peeked out at the end of our ride around 4pm.

Snow surface

There was a 1 to 3” crust in most places with a little bit of graupel on top. The crust was thinner on the north facing slopes. There was moist snow below the crust.


We dug a pit at 1,900’ on a northeast aspect. We did not get any concerning results in our stability tests (CT30 RP – 29cm down above a 2cm crust, ECTN15 – 14cm down on a hardness change). The snowpack was right side up except at the very top where a surface crust exists below the new graupel.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.