Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge

Route & General Observations

Ascended to around 2100′ on Seattle Ridge with the intention of checking out human triggered avalanches that occurred yesterday (Thursday the 5th) in Main Bowl and 2nd Bowl. Turned around due to poor visibility. A ~1.5″ breakable melt freeze crust exists on solar SE aspects over 1′ of powder. Northern non-solar aspects hold 20″ of powder.

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

Human triggered avalanches reported in Main Bowl and 2nd Bowl yesterday (Thursday the 5th) that were reported to be 1-3' deep and are believed to have failed between the new/old snow interface or in the new snow. We talked to a few groups and no one reported any new avalanche activity in the back bowls.

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

Overcast skies turning obscured around 3pm when light snow (<1cm/hr) started falling. Calm wind. Upper to mid 30s F at 1800' on Center Ridge and upper 20s F at 2400' on Seattle Ridge during ride.

Snow surface

A ~1.5" melt freeze crust exists along most of the Seattle Ridge flats. Along the uptrack up to ~2100' we found 1.5" breakable melt freeze crust on SE solar aspects over 1' of powder. 20" of powder with no crusts exists on non-solar N and shaded aspects along the uptrack to our highpoint at around 2100'. The snow above 2100' looked slightly wind affected.


We dug into the snow on a SE and N aspect at around 2100' to look at the snow but did not conduct formal stability tests. On a SE solar aspect that was most certainly previously rider affected, we found 1.5" of breakable melt freeze crust over 1' of powder sitting over an old supportable melt freeze crust. The new snow looked to be bonding well to the crust below. On a N aspect we found 20" of snow sitting over a very thin 1 cm layer of facets over an old supportable melt freeze crust. This snow did not appear to be bonding as well but was breaking unevenly between the facets and new snow during informal testing.

Photos & Video
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