Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge

Route & General Observations

Thanks to everyone who came out to the annual Turnagain Takeover!

We got out for a quick ride in the afternoon and got eyes on some recent avalanche activity in the Seattle Ridge back bowls as well as some activity on the skier side of the pass. We saw fresh slab avalanches in Zero bowl and Main bowl, as well as the front side. We also saw loose snow avalanches (natural and human-triggered) all around Seattle Ridge. There was one wind slab that looked to be a natural release across the highway on Tincan’s CFR. We also saw some major active wind loading in the afternoon.

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

Wind slab avalanches on NW, W, and SE aspects. Most of theses look to have failed on the 3/16 interface, but we didn't get close enough to any of the crowns to tell if there were any persistent weak layers involved. The avalanche in Main Bowl was noteworthy for how it propagated around an older cornice feature.

Most of what we saw was relatively small, maybe just barely large enough to bury a person.

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

Mostly sunny for most of the day with light northeasterly winds in the parking lot and strong winds up on the ridge. No precipitation during the day.

Snow surface

Southerly aspects were really heating up in the afternoon. We watched natural wet loose avalanches happening on the front side of Seattle Ridge, many of which were starting on the south-facing half of the steep gullies. There were also a lot of rollerballs on east and south aspects. Northerly aspects remained cold and dry. There was about a foot of new snow since 3/16 in the area.


We did not dig any test pits. In quick hand pits, we found about 12" new snow since 3/16, with around 4-6" in the past 24 hours. There was a very thin crust that we couldn't feel while we were riding but could identify in pits about 6" deep. This went up to at least 2200'.

Photos & Video
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