Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge

Route & General Observations

We rode and skied around Seattle Ridge in Triangle Bowl, Warm up Bowl and up to the Headwall near Big Cheif. We saw multiple fresh avalanches around 50-200′ wide and a foot deep or so on average. Most of these were human-triggered from today, but we also saw a handful of natural avalanches from during yesterday’s storm. Storm totals varied from around 6-10″ where we traveled. We didn’t dig any full pits but we were stopping to do a ton of hand pits as we traveled, looking closely at the interface between yesterday’s storm and the previous surface. We noticed this interface made for a very clean shear plane, and we were able to tease out a few very small surface hoar crystals here and there. This all seems very similar to the previous storm interface, which was very reactive the day after the storm but healed quickly over the following week.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger Yes
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect South Southwest
Elevation 2000ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 12inWidth 100ft
Vertical Run 200ft  
Avalanche Details

Multiple skier-triggered avalanches on Widowmaker. Some were remote.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Mostly sunny skies and calm winds. Cool temps up high, but surfaces were getting quite warm in the afternoon with temps in the low 40s F at the parking lot.

Snow surface

6-10" new snow from the past 24 hours. North to northwest slopes stayed cold and dry all day, but upper-elevation easterlies formed a thin melt/freeze crust by this afternoon as they went back into the shade.The uptrack was wet and sloppy by the time we rode down around 5 pm.


We saw several skier-triggered avalanches on Widowmaker in Main Bowl failing at the 4/9 storm interface. We dug a ton of hasty hand pits as we traveled, and they were all shearing very easily and cleanly on that interface- 6-10" deep on average. The worst offenders were slopes that had a crust prior to the storm, which were mostly east to south facing. Although we were able to spot a few very small (~1-2mm) surface hoar crystals at that interface, it seemed the main factor was just that we were out right after the storm finished. We'll be paying close attention to this interface over the next few days, but are hoping this will be a short-lived problem.

Photos & Video
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