Avalanche: Seward

Location: Snug Harbor to Lost Lake

Route & General Observations

Headed out on snowmachines from the end of Snug Harbor road in Cooper Landing to troubleshoot the Lost Lake weather station and take a look at what kind of avalanche activity has been going on. The station has not been operable since December. We were partially successful, data is back online, but spotty. We are also making plans to relocate the site to a more accessible area that is less exposed to the harsh environment, which has battered this station. Pin in map below is location of the station.

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Wet Loose SnowAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Many wet loose avalanches, but no slabs, were seen en route to the station. Some of these wet sluffs were quite large and running full path, but most were on the smaller end. A few occurred today, but the majority were from the past 2-3 days of sunny warm weather.

I'll also note, there were no signs of old slab avalanches from the end of March storm cycle or the mid April storm cycle. Maybe they were too covered up by past winds, but I'm suspect we'd still see some kind of evidence. This is noteworthy since in the Summit Lake, Turnagain Pass, and Girdwood regions you can still see some of the aftermath of the old deep slabs that have released. This would suggest that there is a lower likelihood that the deep slab problem exists in the area; not something to hang a hat on though.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Warm sunny afternoon, melting surface crusts, and what we think were a few new wet loose avalanches.

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

Partly cloudy to sunny skies.
Ridgetop winds light and variable.
Temps felt in the mid 30'sF.

Snow surface

Softening surface crusts through the day pretty much everywhere. Generally 4-8" of soft wet snow by 4pm. Every once in a while in shallow areas near rocks/exposed tundra the machine would trapdoor and sink a couple feet down into bottomless unconsolidated soggy wet snow (an isothermal snowpack).

We got up to 3,700' on a northerly aspect and found settled dry snow that was pretty firm, boot penetration was around 4".


No pits dug today. As mentioned earlier, no signs of large deep slab avalanches from the past.

Photos & Video
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