Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge - Repeat Offender

Route & General Observations

Quick tour up the common ‘up-track’ to Seattle Ridge. Descended the Repeat Offender slide path to take a look at the surface conditions in anticipation of the ‘Christmas Storm’.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Winds were transporting snow above trees - we did not encounter any wind slabs as we were mostly on windward aspects.

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

Overcast and windy above the trees! Gusts over 30mph with poor visibility.
Lightly snowing 11am - 1:30pm, S-1
Temperatures in the upper 20's F

Snow surface

The top of the snowpack consisted of 1-1.5cm rimed surface hoar. The surface facets (top 6" under the surface hoar) were small (1mm) and very loose, few bonds.

Above trees: Winds moving the surface hoar and facets around pretty steadily. However, no wind slabs seen as mentioned above.

Below the trees: More sheltered and surfaces hoar sits on 8-12+" of faceted snow.


Since we were before the expected new snow, the pack on Repeat Offender consisted of 2-4' of faceted snow with varying harnesses (from pencil hard to fist hard). The shallower areas around 2', were fist hard top to bottom. See profile below for thicker areas.

Bottom line: At the elevation of Repeat Offender (1500-2500') the snowpack as a whole is very weak. Starting zones at the higher elevations such as 3,500' are also composed of loose faceting snow, but only in the top foot or so.

Photos & Video
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