Avalanche: Seward

Location: West of Seward North Aspect and Road Obs

Route & General Observations

Started in Seward around 9am and headed to the days objective in a zone just west of town, dug two pits on a North aspect at 2350′
For a good portion of the day above treeline, followed a large brown bear track, it’s that time of year for sure! Pic below.
On way back to Anchorage, saw debris of an avalanche on south aspect of Pete’s South, deets on all below.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect South
Elevation 2300ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Run 1000ft  
Avalanche Details

Observed avalanche path and debris of a decently large natural avalanche on a south aspect of Pete's South. Crown looks to go to ground. Unsure if a wet slab or glide, debris was clean and ran far. Leaning more to wet slab as through the day we were experiencing very very warm temps and the sun was cooking the slope all day.

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

When we started around 9am, temps at the car near sea level were very warm and sun was strong, clear skies and calm to light winds from the south. At pit location and for the majority of the rest of the day, temps stayed pretty warm, sun was super strong, little chilly in shade, and winds were light coming from the southwest

Snow surface

Solars were as expected, well softened for the first couple cm, firm below indicating an expected overnight freeze. By afternoon southern aspects got to near isothermal. East aspects were pretty good corn/creamed corn skiing!
Northerlies were either firm and fun or crusty.


Dug two pits on a N aspect at 2350', fully shaded location. Snowpack was mostly like concrete, there was a 2-3cm thick surface curst, below was a 4F hard slab that was about 20cm thick overlying a very thin interface layer of facets (buried surface hoar suspected but was pretty deteriorated and on its way to rounding so not 100% sure), all above knife hard+ for as deep as our shovels could get us without a whole jackknife, very dense and extremely hard.
Pits were dug at same aspect, same slope, but about 50ft apart. One pit got a CTX, but identified presence of the facet interface from a STE; second pit got a CT6 Q1 ~25cm down on suspect thin layer of facets.

Photos & Video
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