Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge

Route & General Observations

Rode up Seattle Ridge to look at the new snow, old wind slabs, and how the winds were impacting conditions through the day.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Several shallow wind slabs / storm slabs seen in steep terrain. Most were very thin - 4-6" and likely occurred in the early morning. Some had very wide propagation for such shallow slabs, kinda wild really.

There was also a deeper looking slab (1-1.5' or so) on the road side that likely failed in the storm snow from Sunday night. It was a bit hard to judge, but it was definitely deeper than last night's 4-8" of snow.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Active wind loading seen in many areas from Girdwood Valley (Crow Pass, Goat Mtn, etc), to the Turnagain skier side (Taylor Pass, Pastoral), and the motorized side (Seattle Ridge itself).

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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High clouds and some sunshine. NW winds were moderate along Seattle Ridge and strong along higher peaks. Temps were in the teens.

Snow surface

Around 6-8" of new low density snow from overnight. Was hard to assess the exact amount.

Much of the new snow from the past week has been hit by the winds in exposed locations and blown into large drifts. Scoured areas were seen on Sunburst and Tincan, as well as other exposed ridgelines.


Total snow depth is between 4-6' with exposed areas scoured to the ground and drifts many feet thick. Most of the surfaces were soft however, even those with wind effect. The new snow from the past week appeared to be settling into one 'right-side-up' layer.

We did not see signs of instability other than what was occurring on the very surface (4-8" thick soft slabs from last night/early this morning). No signs of avalanches breaking in buried weak layers. All avalanches appeared to be within the recent storm snow. Wind slabs seemed to be fairly stubborn and despite jumping on several test slopes we could not any to crack. That said, we did not jump on anything with big consequences. And we were not in areas with significant active loading.

Photos & Video
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