Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge

Route & General Observations

We rode Seattle Ridge today to assess the damage from the continued northwest outflow winds. Not surprisingly, we found widespread wind transport. Some slopes had been scoured so old tracks were sticking up above the rest of the surface, while we were watching others being actively loaded. It was really hard to determine any kind of continuous loading pattern, with some scouring and some loading on virtually all aspects depending on where we were.

We skied a few laps, but stayed lower than most of the usual ski terrain. This decision was a no-brainer- there was better snow lower down from the ridgeline, and with so much active loading up high it seemed hard to imagine skiing those steeper runs without triggering a big avalanche.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

We saw a ton of active wind loading.

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

Windy, sunny, cold. The wind was blowing consistently all day, with a lot of snow blowing off the ridgelines. There were a few periods where the winds were blowing snow all the way down in the bottom of the Seattle Creek drainage.

Snow surface

Snow surfaces were really variable. A lot of slopes had been scoured, leaving inside-out tracks. Others had about 2-4" soft snow on top of wind board, and lower elevations out of the wind still had 6-8" soft snow on top. There was a paper-thin, very brittle crust on most solar aspects. This wasn't thick enough to be noticeable skiing or riding.


We dug a pit on a SW aspect at 2500'. We did not get any alarming test results. The only noteworthy thing we saw was a very thin crust around 1.5' deep. This crust did not do anything in our stability test, but I was able to get a fracture to propagate when I was realling giving it the mustard after the stability test. It's something worth paying attention to in the days to come, but it doesn't appear likely to make any avalanches for now.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.