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Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Out with the Alaska Avalanche School Motorized Level 1 for a field day. Attempted to go up the Seattle Ridge up-track but got shut down by awful visibility. The class split to get some info and practice companion rescue in different areas along the base of Seattle Ridge.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No obvious signs while we were out but winds were increasing and beginning to transport snow. Temperatures increased very rapidly through the day. Snowfall was increasing rapidly.

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

1-2" during the day at ~1500'. Snowfall was increasing rapidly to over 1 cm/hr as we were leaving. Winds out of the South East increasing into the 20s as the day progressed. Winds beginning to transport snow. The motorized lot was 17 F at 4:30pm and temps at sea level were at 26 F. Rapid rise in temperatures through the day.

Snow surface

1-2" of new snow. Snow started falling at noon. Snowing ~1 cm/hr @ 3 pm.

Snowpack

Dug some quick pits along Seattle ridge at ~1500'. At the top 20-25 cm of settled storm snow on top of a thick supportable crust. Below was the usual poor faceted structure to the ground. Test results were ECTX, but when the ECT block was jumped on it failed on the basal facets at the bottom of the snow pack. This is a great example of the stubborn low probability high consequence avalanche problem that currently exists.

Photos & Video
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