Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge - 3,000' above Minus 1 Bowl

Route & General Observations

Tour up Seattle Ridge via the common up-track to the top of Minus 1 bowl (Warm-up Bowl).

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Several (6-7) large whumpfs just above Minus 1 bowl and on top of Repeat Offender, near where it rolls over to steeper terrain.

Shooting cracks seen above Minus 1 bowl and near the roll over on Repeat Offender.

Both collapsing and cracking was due to the weak snow under the ~2+ feet of new snow from the past 3 days.

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

Most cloudy and low viz with a few patches of blue.
Light snow flurries most the day.
Winds light from the NW.
Temps in the low teens.

Snow surface

10-12" of very low density powder from the past 24 hours - from parking lot to ridgetop. No wind effect, even along ridge.


Touchy above treeline.... The 25-30" of snow from the past 3 days has settled to around 2 feet at 3,000'. When approaching Minus 1 bowl we had a very large collapse (whumpf) and it was easy to see the layer that collapsed - the facets below the new snow (see video). While skiing along the top of Repeat Offender, we had several more large collapses. No avalanches were triggered that we are aware of.
One quick pit at 2,500' - ECTV - that means the column collapsed during isolation. Slab was fist hard on top to 4 finger near the base and facets were fist hard below.

Below the trees the new snow was just too loose to act like a slab and very deep powder skiing was required...

Bottom line: We were quite cautious due to the amount of red flags seen and didn't get onto slopes more than 35 degrees.

Photos & Video
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