Observation: Turnagain

Location: Seattle Ridge - Repeat Offender

Route & General Observations

Seattle Ridge uptrack to repeat offender

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

Light snow throughout the day, with clouds rolling in and out. Calm winds, with temps in the low teens.

Snow surface

About 10 inches of new snow from last 48 hours on the surface, with another 8 inches of soft settled powder from earlier this week. Total of about 16-20 inches of soft snow above the firm and wet snow from the Halloween storm.


Below 1600' the snowpack is 50-100 cm total depth with a very moist and dense base topped with low density snow from the recent storms. Above 2000' on the Seattle Ridge up track we were able to locate a layer of buried surface hoar which was deposited earlier this week. At 2000' the layer was difficult to locate, but in our snowpit at 2500' we could easily identify the layer in the pit wall (see photo).

The surface hoar was buried 20 cm deep in our 2500' pit, had a grain size of about 5mm, and was standing upright due to lack of wind before it was buried. Our test results showed low strength (ETC N 5) for the surface hoar layer but there was not a strong enough slab on top for the layer for it to propagate. We also found a faceted layer directly above the transition to the moist snow from the Halloween storm that failed with moderate strength (ECT N 14) (See photos for layer locations).

Either of these layers could be problematic if the snow on top turns into more of a slab. This could happen due to wind transport or as the slab settles into a more cohesive layer.

Photos & Video
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