Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Creek Drainage

Route & General Observations

Afternoon ride up the motorized up-track and into the higher terrain along the Seattle Ridge headwall. We were targeting the hottest part of the day. Despite this, there was still a lot of crusty conditions encountered along with some roller balls on steep south slopes.

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger UnknownRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect Southeast
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Noted three recent looking slab avalanches that likely occurred yesterday (March 19). One of these looked like it was triggered by a wet loose avalanche. The other two looked to be slabs that the sun triggered by heating them up to the point of failure. They were likely still fairly dry and not your text book wet slab. Wet slabs by definition have water lubricating the interface between the slab and weak layer. See photos.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

Recent avalanches and a warm afternoon.

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

Temps around 30F.
Light west breeze on ridge.

Snow surface

Shaded slopes had a wind/warm weather crust about an inch thick.
Solar slopes had a 1-2" melt-freeze crust, much thicker near the parking lot.
By the afternoon some south aspects warmed enough to melt the surface crust, but this was more the exception.


We dug one snow pit at 3,300' on a northeast aspect under the Seattle Headwall on the west side of the drainage.
Pit depth was 3.5 feet, total snowpack depth was 10 feet. We had no results in our pit (ECTX). We did find the buried surface hoar 2 feet deep that has been responsible for many human triggered slabs over the past week. It was a good sign that it was fairly stuck in this location, but it has still been reactive in other locations.
The BSH was 3-5mm in size and was sandwiched between pencil hard snow above and below.
The storm snow has settled to 2 feet from 3-4 feet and is very dense now.

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.