Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge

Route & General Observations

We rode around lower elevations, making it up to just below 2000′. Winds were noticeably stronger as soon as we got above the trees, and the snow surface got much stiffer. Rain made it up to the top of the pass by this afternoon, but precipitation was mostly snow above about 1200′.

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

It was quite wet out there today. It was mostly snow above 1200', but just barely. Winds were blowing around 20 mph out of the north at 1900', and were drifting snow into dense slabs.

Snow surface

Heavy, wet snow to 1200' got consistently better with elevation up to about 1700'. Above 1700', the soft snow was getting blown into stiffer slabs on the more exposed terrain.


We dug pits at 1500' and 1900'. In both pits we found a thin crust buried about 50 cm deep. We got unstable results on this layer in our pit at 1900' (ECTP15, ECTP21). We were surprised to be able to initiate a fracture at this interface, since the slab on top of that crust was very firm (1-finger hardness or harder). It seems as though this crust layer corresponds with a similar situation that we found at Cornbiscuit earlier in the week. It still seems unlikely a person would trigger an avalanche on this layer, but we will be paying attention to it for the coming days.

Photos & Video
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