Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge backside

Route & General Observations

Rode into the back bowls of Seattle Ridge for a look around to see what Sunday night’s storm did. Around 2′ of new snow from the Sunday night snowfall. One cornice fall in Main Bowl (1st Bowl) on the looker’s left side of the Widowmaker slide path. No other old natural avalanche activity seen.


Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No signs of instability seen. Kept it mellow today, did not get onto large wind loaded slopes.

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

Overcast with some partial clearing.
Light to breezy easterly winds along the ridgetop (5-10mph)
Temps in the 20'sF.

Snow surface

Very thin surface crust (1-2mm thick) from parking lot to 1,100'.
Above this was soft settled powder. Around 2' of new snow fell Sunday night 12/27 and has settled to around 16".
Significant wind effect along ridge and in back bowls from the last couple week of stormy weather. Thick wind drifts along with scoured areas to the ground. Lots of harder wind effected surfaces. Some really large 'moats' have been formed scattered about along ridge and in drainages.


We dug two pits at 2,300' on a SE facing 15 deg slope. Total snow depth between 150 and 175cm (5-6').
Stability test results: ECTX, ECTN 22 (down 16" on a hardness change), ECTN 26 (down 75cm in the Dec 1 crust sandwich).

Wind slabs and small cornices wouldn't break on small test slopes. We did not test the more exposed and steep wind loaded terrain.

The Dec 1 crust was 75cm (2.5') below the surface and around 2" thick with the top and bottom portions being stout and the middle decomposing. The top part of the crust stuck onto the snow above it. The middle was the weakest and the bottom seemed to be stuck to the snow beneath. It didn't look to be nearly as alarming as it has in areas on the other side of the road and is a layer this is changing for the worse and we will continue to track.

Photos & Video
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