Avalanche: Seward

Location: Mt. Marathon treeline

Route & General Observations

Hiked up to start of bench trail (East Face) on Mt. Marathon just above treeline. Found an upside down snowpack at treeline ~725ft. Dug several hand pits. Observed many D2-3 avalanches on E, S and SE aspects.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect East Southeast
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
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

Walking on snow surface easily produced cracking. Strong NNW winds caused significant cross loading on the East face (as seen in photo). Signs of windloading on S and SE aspects of as well. Wind transported snow on ridgetops looked to be sublimating more than loading due to sustained 50mph+ NNW winds. Midway down the mountain and at treeline where winds were in the 15-30mph range there was significant loading and I saw naturally triggered wind slabs release down the race trail face (SE aspect)

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

melt-freeze crust


In several hand pits tests I found a 15cm layer (see photo) of pencil-hard meltforms (~5-8mm grains) from the most recent snowfall lying on top of fist-hard, moist, decomposing fragments (1mm grains). Shearing occurred with little effort.

Photos & Video
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