Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge, Minus 3 Bowl

Route & General Observations

Trip to the the higher terrain in upper Seattle Creek drainage, Minus 3 Bowl (Triangle Bowl) area. High point 3,300′.

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

No red flags observed today.

An older wind slab avalanche, likely from the New Year's storm, was seen on the descent into the bottom of Seattle Creek from Minus 3 Bowl. 3,500' and North facing.

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

Cold! Minus single digits in parking lot and warmed to the single digits at 3,000'.
Clear skies, beautiful.
Winds calm.

Snow surface

Top foot of snow is very soft, great surface conditions.
There is very small surface hoar forming around 2,000' and below, did not see signs of surface hoar at 3,000'.


We targeted the upper elevation snowpack to assess the buried surface hoar (BSH) from Solstice. This layer was responsible for three snowmachine triggered slides in Main Bowl (First Bowl) on Friday, two days ago.
Pit: 3,000', W aspect, 25 deg slope, snow depth 2.5 meters (deeper than average snow depth, gets wind loading).
ECTP 30, 33 on Solstice BSH down 2.5 feet. Hard to trigger but once it fails, it slides off easily - see video.
The BSH was small, 3-5mm is size and though a very thin layer, could easily be seen in pit wall.

Take home: These results tell us this layer is present but difficult to trigger. It is also a scenario where multiple tracks can be on a slope before it releases, or someone can trigger it remotely. Tricky situation.

Photos & Video
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