Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge front side

Route & General Observations

We went for a short ride on the front side of Seattle Ridge today. We had loose ambitions of riding up to get eyes on a crown from a recent avalanche, but poor visibility kept us down in the trees. We were able to get one pit in right next to the uptrack at about 1800′ elevation and got poor test results, with the recent storm snow failing on a layer of buried surface hoar about 2.5′ deep.

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

Cloudy skies with light snowfall through the morning. Cloud ceiling was in and out, but the ridge was obscured for most of the time we were out. Temps were warming while we were out and it was raining around 600' on our drive back to town at around 12:30. Steady northeast winds.

Snow surface

2-3' settled snow from this week. There has been a lot of traffic this week! Some serious trenches out there from the past few days, but still high quality riding on untracked areas.


Between the last three days' avalanche activity and today's snowpit, we are not psyched on the current setup. We dug one pit right next to the uptrack at 1800' elevation, and identified a layer of buried surface hoar on top of a crust that collapsed with a lot of energy when we did a stability test (ECTP14). The layer was around 2' deep in our pit, but settled snow depths varied from 2-3' where we were riding.

This setup is most concerning on solar aspects, but based on surface inventories ahead of this most recent storm, and after seeing some human triggered avalanches on multiple aspects this week, we suspect it is an issue all around the compass.

Photos & Video
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