Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge/Sunnyside

Route & General Observations

Toured up Sunnyside/Seattle Ridge standard uptrack, looking at the snow surface and evaluating any crust/facet interfaces. We first headed northeast on Seattle Ridge towards Main Bowl (1st Bowl), and then heading south checking out the ridge above Mama’s Bowl (Zero Bowl) and finally digging above Warm-Up Bowl (-1 Bowl) at a final elevation of 3000′. Lots of folks out enjoying the soft snow.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Small whumpfing on the flat ridgeline between Mama's Bowl and Warm-Up Bowl on a shallow wind scoured snowpack, 40cm snowpack collapsing on basal facets and developing cups.

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

Broken Sky
No Precip
Calm to Light Winds
Temps in the mid-upper 20s, raising throughout the day.

Snow surface

New snow/settled powder from the road to ridge line.
Melt-freeze crust directly below new snow/settled powder from road to approx 1700-1900'
Variable wind and rime affected surfaces above 2500'.


Set out looking for wind affected areas and tracking crusts and looking for facets throughout the snowpack, specifically focusing above 2500'.
Found a consistent melt-freeze crust on the ground beneath the new snow from the road to 1700'-1900'.
Above 2000' we found a multiple layers of melt-freeze crusts above the ground, with deteriorating grains at the ground.
At 2900' we were getting whumpfing on a shallow snowpack with striated facets forming cups.
At 3000' we were able to find moist basal facets below the melt-freeze crusts.

Hand Pit #1: Sunnyside Uptrack - SE Aspect - 1100'
Settled Powder above melt freeze crust

Hand Pit #2: Sunnyside Uptrack - SE Aspect - 1600'
Settled Powder above melt freeze crust

Pit #1: Upper Main bowl - NE Aspect - 2800' - 27 degree - HS: 95cm
CT8 down 50cm on 4F to 1F Hardness Step
ECTX x2. Wet ground.

Pit #2: Seattle Ridge - SE Aspect - 3000' - 20 degree - HS: 97cm
CT12 down 20cm on new snow old snow interface
CT28 down 97cm on moist facets 1-2mm (on the ground)
ECTN16 down 20cm on new snow old snow interface

Photos & Video
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