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Observations

Feb. 18, 2020, 3 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Joe Dellaporta

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Jim Hill

Weather: Today was a calm and clear day to be in the mountains. Temperatures stayed in the 20's, shaded areas were colder. The sun felt warm on solar aspects.

Snowpack: At the lower elevations we found 4-6 in of low density snow on a crust. Traveling at higher elevations we found 8 -12 in of snow on a stout crust. Some light transport was observed. Surface conditions above 5400 ft were spatially variable, with areas of more stubborn wind drifted snow and other areas that did not see any affect from the wind. Surface hoar was widespread from the trailhead elevation to the top of ridge lines at 6400 ft. While traveling on this north aspect, I did not get any shooting cracks or whumphs as I have in previous days on different aspects in near-by areas. During the early afternoon hours Loose Wet activity was observed on south aspects of Nason Ridge.

Avalanches: We observed a wide crown near ridge top at 6400 ft on a North aspect (HS-U-R3-D2). Crown depths ranged from 1-3 ft deep. We were unsure on what it failed on.

Feb. 18, 2020, 3 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Observation by Lee Lazzara

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Baker BC

Route Description: Artist Point - Ptarmigan Ridge/Video - Table Mt

Weather: Clear with full sun - light east winds kept temperatures cool in exposed locations.

Snowpack: 3mm SH and faceting DF at surface. Solar aspects wetted and will have surface crust with cooling. HST of +100cm sits on 2/13 MFcr interface. F at surface layer with consistent increase in hardness from surface down. ATL wind loaded terrain: various 1F/P wind slabs in upper spx - well bonded, no pertinent test results. No layers of concern below 2/13 interface.

Avalanches: A dozen heat triggered loose snow avalanches (to D2) on the south aspect of Table Mountain + others of similar type and size noted on solar aspects in the area NTL/ATL. Loose Wet activity through the area mostly observed on SE thru SW aspects with little noted on direct east and west aspects. No recent natural or human triggered wind slab avalanches observed.

Feb. 18, 2020, 3 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Martin Volken

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: CHAIR PEAK BASIN ACCESS SLOPE

Route Description: THE PHOTOS SHOW THE CLEAR SHEDDING EVENT ON STEEP SOUTH FACING SLOPES. THE FIRST PHOTO WAS TAKEN AROUND 10 AM AND THE SECOND ONE WAS TAKEN AT AROUND 3PM. CHAIR PEAK BASIN WAS THE PREFERRED DESTINATION TODAY AND I HOPE THAT THE PREDICTED SHEDDING CYCLE WAS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT.

Weather: PERFECT WEATHER

Snowpack: 15 INCHES OF FRESH COLD SNOW ON A 5 METER SNOWPACK

Avalanches: LOOSE SNOW POINT RELEASES IN MANY PLACES ON SOUTH AND EAST ASPECTS.

Feb. 18, 2020, 3 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Martin Volken

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: CHAIR PEAK BASIN ACCESS SLOPE

Route Description: THE PHOTOS SHOW THE CLEAR SHEDDING EVENT ON STEEP SOUTH FACING SLOPES. THE FIRST PHOTO WAS TAKEN AROUND 10 AM AND THE SECOND ONE WAS TAKEN AT AROUND 3PM. CHAIR PEAK BASIN WAS THE PREFERRED DESTINATION TODAY AND I HOPE THAT THE PREDICTED SHEDDING CYCLE WAS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT.

Weather: PERFECT WEATHER

Snowpack: 15 INCHES OF FRESH COLD SNOW ON A 5 METER SNOWPACK

Avalanches: LOOSE SNOW POINT RELEASES IN MANY PLACES ON SOUTH AND EAST ASPECTS.

Feb. 17, 2020, 5 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes Central - Lake Chelan to South of I-90

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: To 7000' on north slopes above eightmile lake.

Route Description: Eightmile Lake.

Weather: Clear, moderate winds to calm as storm pushed through. Temps below freezing all day.

Snowpack: HS 295 cm on N at 6500'. A wide variety of debris and wind-shaped surfaces above 6000'. Low density snow in sheltered and low elevation terrain. 2mm facets sandwiching a crust were reactive above 6000' in both pits and ski cuts (pit). The suspect layer was 20-40cm below the surface, but was much deeper in wind deposited areas. ECTBRK13 and ECTBRK21 in pit tests on N at 6600'. More facets were present below a 30cm deep crust on SE at 7000'. No formal tests on this layer.

Avalanches: Remnants of the last major natural cycle and some recent D2 dry loose from recent wind/snow event.

Feb. 17, 2020, 4:47 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Arrowhead

Route Description: Ridge to NW face

Weather: Cool, broken clouds, occasional very light showers and light breeze.

Snowpack: 10-15 cms of light storm snow from last night overlies a variety of heavily wind-pressed surfaces from this weekend's storm cycle. Above 4500ft, a small temperature crust from Sundays' warming disappates, leaving approx 50 cms of right-side-up storm snow from this cycle sitting atop a stout rain crust from 2/7. A snowpit on a SE aspect at 5400 feet revealed CTMRPQ3 down 50 cms, and ECTN. Further observations (see below) seem to indicate that these southerly aspects are harboring some persistent weaknesses, but the distribution is spatially variable, perhaps slightly driven by steepness of terrain and attendant previous solar radiation from last week's high pressure.

Avalanches: Test slopes and steep rolls to 45 degrees on shaded aspects produced absolutely no signs of instability beyond small surface sluffing, both in sheltered and previously wind-hammered terrain. Numerous small intentional cornice drops on SE aspects produced no results. We observed several large (D2.5) natural avalanches that released in high, crossloaded, and steep terrain on southerly aspects across the road from Arrowhead.

Feb. 17, 2020, 4 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Crystal BC

Route Description: Bullion Basin - Cement Basin - East Peak

Weather: A.M. fog, noon filtered sun, P.M. sun.

Snowpack: 4-8" accumulated recent snow on a very firm crust on the west aspect. Bonding varied from solid in deep new snow to poor in thin wind-affected new snow. 8"+ new snow on east aspect. Positive bonding. Excellent skiing. No evidence of instability on the ~30° slope we skied twice. However by noon the sun was noticeably affecting the top couple of inches, so we moved on.

Avalanches: A party ahead of us tried to trigger an avalanche by kicking off a large cornice. Part of the cornice broke into Cement Basin, where fresh tracks and a skin track were visible. The party left the area. Shortly after this, another party skinned up from the fog and trees below the cornices.

Feb. 17, 2020, 3 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Andrew Goodwin

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: South side of Mt St Helens

Route Description: Worm flows route to summit

Weather: 12 F, clear and windy on summit. Clouds and temps warming to 33 F at 2600'

Snowpack: Wind scoured ridges with shallow wind slabs. Valleys and lee areas deeper. At 8,200' on a south aspect at 25 degrees there was 95 cm of snow (most probably blown up out of the crater) in a single layer sitting on 10 cm mixed ice/snow, on top of a thick hard ice layer.

Avalanches: None. A few roller balls by mid afternoon at 4500'. A skier knocked a big cornice off (intentionally) in the early afternoon at about 4800' over a steep SE aspect slope. It picked up only a small amount of Saturday night snow on the way to the canyon floor.

Feb. 17, 2020, 2:31 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Observation by Danny Schlitt

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: South-West facing slopes below Chain Lakes trail, south west of table mountain. After getting out of the fog on the south side of table mountain, we began observing rollers and pinwheels. After some of the clouds cleared, we observed 4

Route Description: We were traveling south west of table mountain towards mazama lake after dropping from the notch between table mountain and happy bunny butte.

Weather: Partly cloudy forecasted. Foggy over the south aspects of table mountain. Sunny on the slopes which released.

Snowpack: Right side up. Dry to damp powder depending on sun exposure.

Avalanches: 4 loose wet avalanches. Point release. Small. Would have pushed a skier downhill, but wouldn't have buried them on the open slopes with the gentle run out.

Feb. 17, 2020, 1 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Matthew Schonwald

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Phantom to top of Slot and back down

Weather: Snowed all morning up to S1 with a few breaks around 12.

Snowpack: Top 20-30 cm new snow low density cold smoke, (F,PP) on a progressive right side up 4F 20 cm layer to the crust that was well bonded.

Avalanches: Triggered and saw natural Dry Loose down 10 cm max, up high upto D1.5

Feb. 17, 2020, 9:30 a.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Carl Jonson

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Kendall Peak West Side approx. 5500 ft

Route Description: Up the Kendall slide path to the top of Kendall and into Kendall Adventure Zone.

Weather: Up to S2 in the AM, clearing in the afternoon.

Snowpack: 20 - 30 cm low density snow onto of right side up snowpack over 2/13 crust.

Avalanches: Triggered a 30cm storm slab on unsupported convex rollover while skinning at 5500ft in a treed area on West side of Kendall Peak.

Feb. 16, 2020, 8 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Jeremy Allyn

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Crystal BC

Route Description: Bullion Basin - East Peak - Cement Basin - Pk 6782

Weather: 16-28F, S-1 with intermittent S2 mid-late afternoon, obscured skies with some broken periods and light filtered sun, moderate-strong SW winds at ridgetop, moderate blowing snow above 6K

Snowpack: HST over 2/13 averages 55cm over the 2/13 crust. This crust has been freezing harder the last few days but still not totally boot supportable on solar aspects. Significant wind redistribution and recent drifting observed with many scoured surfaces near ridgetops and drifts pushing 90cm thick on lee slopes. Bonding at the 2/13 is deteriorating, esp on E-N aspect NTL and above. Fresh cornices were touchy and actively building today. Away from wind affect, storm snow stability remained good, esp low-mid elevations.

Avalanches: We remote triggered a wind slab while moving along the ridgeline above Cement Basin bowl, E aspect ~6500ft, D1.5-D2, 60' wide, breaking 18-30"deep on the prominent 2/13 crust (now knife hard and 2cm thick). Failure occurred ~20ft below ridgecrest in the most loaded part of the terrain feature. No other avalanches observed

Feb. 16, 2020, 7 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Trevor Kostanich

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Alpental Valley

Route Description: Source Lake to Pineapple Basin via Big Trees

Weather: Intermittent snow showers in the am turning to moderate snowfall (S2) in the afternoon. Sky condition went surprising to few clouds in mid morning turning to obscured late morning through the rest of the day.

Snowpack: Right side up storm snow over 2/13 crust. We dug at 4600 NNE aspect and found the 2/13 crust down 120cm. Consistent results of CTM Down 20cm Resistant Planar (Q2).

Avalanches: 1) Observed small loose dry snow sifting over cliffs into No Fog. 4200' NE Aspect @11:00am. 2) Recent (previous 12 hours) natural storm slab avalanche under Hemlock/Tooth Col (aka Hemlock Couloir), 5100' NE Aspect. Bad visibility but I estimate 50-100cm crown that pulled out about 100m wide under rocks/cliffs east of couloir. Never had enough vis to see debris (or fracture line west of couloir) but estimate D2. 3) Recent (previous 12 hours) natural storm slab avalanche above Source Lake Apron, 4500' ESE Aspect. On steep unsupported convexity with path running through the popular Source Lake Apron to Snow Lake Divide route. Too far to estimate sizes. Sorry, bad light so no photos.

Feb. 16, 2020, 4 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Charlie Hagedorn

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Various routes above 5k in the vicinity of Stevens Pass, skied all but W aspects.

Route Description: Avoided almost all open avalanche terrain.

Weather: Mostly cloudy, light/moderate snow most of the day. Stout Westerly breezes moving snow over ridgetops, sufficient to drive spontaneous young-cornice failure.

Snowpack: Felt mostly right-side up. Storm snow boot-top+. Sluffs running loose-dry above 4.5k. Palpable crust below the new snow in trees below 4.5k. Snow below 4k was heavy but dry. Ski quality was quite fine. Ridgetop wind slabs began to stiffen palpably in the afternoon.

Avalanches: None seen. No whumphs nor cracks, including some lower angle E/SE terrain above 5k that shared aspect/elevation with today's reported accident . Really impressed to see how studiously all travelers we saw avoided tasty-looking open avalanche terrain today.

Feb. 16, 2020, 1:30 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? Yes

Area Description: We were touring around Snow Lake. We came in from Chair Peak bowl, down the North side to Snow Lake. We then headed up to the trees between Roosevelt and Wright. Headed back out via Snow Lake divide.

Weather: Weather was sunny and cloudy and snowing heavy later in the day. Little wind and stayed around freezing.

Snowpack: Soft snow pack and was wind affected in some areas.

Avalanches: We came across the debris of a large avalanche that had come out in Chair Peak basin. Large crowns on several slopes. No movement was observed skiing down to Snow Lake on the North side of Chair Peak. When we got to the saddle between Roosevelt and Wright, the ridge was wind affected and only saw small pockets of movement in the snow pack. We skiied down about 300 VF with no movement through the trees. We came up to a small isolated slope and the second skier triggered a crown that was 12 to 24". The skier was partially buried, but had no injuries. The slab slid on a firm crust. The slope was open when the terrain rolled into it and so may have been wind loaded and/or stayed cold enough to not allow proper bonding.

Feb. 16, 2020, 1 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Dallas Glass

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Mount Snoqualmie, Phantom/Phantom Trees area.

Route Description: Mount Snoqualmie, Phantom/Phantom Trees area.

Weather: Overcast becoming broken skies with light to very light snow showers. Some longer sun breaks in the morning. Light to moderate westerly winds. Temps below freezing.

Snowpack: 24hr snow total: 12-15cm (5-6"). Settled storm snow 50-55cm (20-22"). Storm snow right-side-up F-F4+ over 2/13 melt-freeze crust. Crust very prominent and identifiable in all locations traveled. Wind affected snow on a variety of aspects near treeline. Large fresh cornices on most N-E facing ridgelines.

Avalanches: No new avalanches observed.

Feb. 16, 2020, noon PST

Region: Olympics
Observation by Mike Dawson

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: SW slopes of Mt Angeles to 5800'.

Weather: Upper 20s F, W wind 5 to 15 mph, snow showers

Snowpack: 2 to 6" of light snow on crust. 80-100" total depth between 4700 and 5900'. 2" new during the day. Higher elevations scoured to crust. Trees skied great. No instabilities noted.

Feb. 16, 2020, 11 a.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Arrowhead

Route Description: Arrowhead

Weather: Storm moving in, broken to obscured, snowing S1 with moderate transport all day. High Westerly winds in alpine and generally cool.

Snowpack: HS <300cm 5600' NW slope, 34-degrees, ECTBRK21 on facets/crust @55cm. Facet/crust layer at 80cm unreactive. Surface hoar at 40cm in wind sheltered terrain. Large cornices (car to house) at 5900'.

Avalanches: Multiple D1 and D1.5 wind slabs on anything with an easterly tilt. Crowns up to 25cm, 2-4m wide, paths to 30m long. Fast and long running dry loose on steep NW aspects to 100m.

Feb. 15, 2020, 3 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Yodlin ski tour at around 4300'

Route Description: Descending back to the parking lot at the end of the day

Weather: 0°C at 5100 and almost 2°C at the parking. Heavy precip at times, wind in spots.

Snowpack: Roughly 1 foot of storm snow on frozen base.

Avalanches: Many rollers seen throughout the day. Cracking snow seen down low at around 10:00 and more seen higher up at 15:00.

Feb. 15, 2020, 2:20 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Snowpack: Creamy and dreamy

Feb. 15, 2020, 2:08 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Morgan Connelly

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Lichtenberg mountain, 5200 feet, southeast aspect, just below north/south ridge to summit Lichtenberg mountain north descent, 5400 feet, north gully

Route Description: From Lichenwasser lake, gaining north / south ridge to Lichtenberg summit on uptrack, about 5200 feet. Attempting to get through steeper area below overhanging large boulder pillows / cornices on southeast side of ridge.

Weather: 30 degrees, snowing 1/2 inch an hour, moderately gusty from west, low viz

Snowpack: medium density powder (16 inches), wind affected in spots, on top of previous layer. sticky and stable feeling in places, unconsolidated and slidey in others.

Avalanches: Propogated shooting crack and slab break (slab did not run - slab shifted about 4-6 inches), 12-14 inches deep and 15-20 feet wide along steep southeast aspect just below ridge between lake and lichtenberg summit. On descent, skier triggered D1 slab (16 inches deep, 30 feet across, ran about 80 yards) on north-northwest aspect, steep (38ish degrees) chute. Skier triggered from above, side-stepped / traversed to stay above and yelled down to skier below who quickly exited out of terrain trap to the left. No burial or damage.

Feb. 15, 2020, 2 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Remo Cocco

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Roaring Ridge

Route Description: Standard route up the clear cut

Weather: Overcast. Snow turned to rain during the descent.

Snowpack: Wet/heavy snow at the top.

Avalanches: We saw several small D1 wet slabs on the descent. Not sure when they occurred.

Feb. 15, 2020, 11 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes Central - Skagit River to South of I-90
Observation by Benji Climber

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: On the NE Ridge of Lichtenburg Mt, at about 5150 feet elevation.

Weather: Snowy /poor vis

Snowpack: I had done a hand shear test minutes before this. I got a partial shear at about 1.5 feet with light hand pull. Didn't really tell me anything I didn't know from NWAC.

Avalanches: The party just ahead of us on the skin track propagated a small storm slab, just after a switch back in the skin track. My buddy was carried about a foot but, but the slab had no momentum so it stopped. We turned around promptly; but the party kept going up. We saw them at the cars, and they said they triggered a D2 sized storm slab in a gulley descending the saddle between Lberg and Lberg south... No one was caught.

Feb. 15, 2020, 10 a.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Hough-Snee Thorn

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Arrowhead

Route Description: Arrowhead via Henry's Creek

Weather: Overcast, 30F at 2700' at 0800, 37F at 1200. Warming trend less obvious in alpine, but snow line hit late morning. Overcast to obscured skies. Strong westerly winds in the alpine transporting snow, scouring westerly aspects and creating large cornices on leeward features with an east tilt. Increasing winds and precip led to decreased visibility by mid-day.

Snowpack: HS > 300cm in multiple observations above 5600' on W/SE. Test pit at 5800' on west resulted in ECTN24 and ECTP25 on 1-2mm facets under crust at 40cm. Second wind/sun crust layer at 75 cm was unreactive but small facets also present.

Avalanches: The same crust/facet layer observed in test pits failed on a loaded, southeast slope at 5600' when we accidentally dropped a 3' cornice onto a 35-degree slope. Failed as a hard slab with a 40-50cm crown and entrained cold surface snow, running ~100 meters. AC-HS-R1-D2. Previous intentional cornice drops onto slightly gentler, lower slopes did not show signs of instability.

Feb. 14, 2020, 6 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Joe Dellaporta

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Lichtenberg

Weather: We had some sun during the early afternoon hours which was warming up S/W aspects, then by 2 PM overcast skies dominated with periods of light to moderate snowfall. Winds were mainly calm and westerly.

Snowpack: We found 35 cm of new snow. This snow was being transported to various aspects. We found wind loaded areas on West aspects as well. We were getting several whumphs and shooting cracks on these aspects. By 2PM, south and some west aspects near/below tree-line started to warm at the surface due to some sun exposure. On east aspects we found the snow to be touchy.

Avalanches: We witnessed two different avalanches. The first was likely triggered by the first person that skied the slope. This was on a East aspect at 5400 ft on a 40 degree slope. Failed on the new/old snow interface. Crown depths were 35-40 cm deep. ( SS- AS- R2- D1.5- I) The second avalanche was intentionally triggered by me on a East aspect at 5400 ft on a convex roll. This one was a soft slab that failed in that new/old snow interface as well. Crown depths were 30-40 cm deep. (SS-AR-R2- D1.5- I) These were fast moving and running far.

Feb. 14, 2020, 12:45 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan
Observation by Brandon Bertelsen

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: First Bowl of Cutthroat drainage.

Route Description: We skied up and down First Bowl with a high point of about 7100 feet. NE to N aspect.

Weather: Overcast and broken skies. Light snow throughout the day, decreasing in the afternoon. Strong NE winds at and above treeline moving snow around us and off of the ridges. The free winds were moving from the NW.

Snowpack: We found up to 19 cm of new snow on top of unreactive wind slab that was about 5-20 cm thick at and above treeline. The surface of the new snow was being scouring and deposited within First Bowl starting to form very small wind slabs.

Avalanches: We saw several very small dry loose avalanches off of the cliffs above with a N aspect.

Feb. 14, 2020, noon PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by David Desmond

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? Yes

Area Description: Northway bowl at crystal mountain. Approximately 6400', NNE facing slope roughly 37 degrees

Route Description: From top of Notch peak at Crystal Mountain NW slot is skiers right of main northway bowl

Weather: Sunny and windy, temperatures in the mid to low 20s. Periods of cloud cover with light snow showers

Snowpack: 8-10" of light, low density snow above a thick crust

Avalanches: Triggered and carried by a storm slab that ran wall to wall in the NW slot. Roughly 30' wide by 150' long and containing all of the new snow. 8-10" slab ran the to the bottom of Northway bowl, no one was buried or injured

Feb. 12, 2020, 8:35 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Andrew Richardson

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Kendall Adventure Zone

Route Description: Approached Kendall Adventure Zone via Kendall Knob; skied north facing chute; regained ridge and exited via Commonwealth Basin from summit of Kendall West

Weather: Cool in the morning, warming to 32 by noon. Patchy valley fog to 6000’ thickened midday keeping solar aspects cooler than yesterday.

Snowpack: Steep north-facing lines were dust on crust. Large cornices facing SE and E seen on ridgetops. Was surprised to see some NW-facing cornices at entrances to Silver Twins and Not So Super Steep couloirs. Lots of large old wet debris ran to at least 4500’ in Silver Creek Basin. West slopes of Kendall were stable mush.

Avalanches: Natural D1.5 wet loose likely ran yesterday on south-facing steeps and rocks at 5400’ Natural wind slab crowns seen on SE aspect near Kendall ridge line, D2.5. Seen from afar so difficult to estimate crown height and width.

Feb. 10, 2020, 10 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Zack Novak

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Snow Lake Zone up to 5300'

Route Description: We traveled to Snow Lake and bailed from Roosevelt due to warming, opting to ski shaded aspects instead.

Weather: Clear skies in the AM with scattered clouds making way for a fog layer that moved in around 15:00

Snowpack: Solar aspects warmed significantly during the day and were rapidly refreezing when we skied out from the snow lake divide at dusk. Shaded aspects remained cold throughout the day down to low elevations observed during our exit from source lake. Wind loading and fresh cornices observed on and lee of ridgetops. 2/7 crust was firm and noticeable particularly on steeper, shaded terrain.

Avalanches: Observed a natural wet loose on the cliffs above snow lake, adjacent to the lowest portion of the N. slopes of chair. ~D1.5

Feb. 9, 2020, 6:30 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Ross Anderson

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: We climbed into the Source Lake basin from the parking lot of Alpental Ski Resort and continued on to the Snow Lake divide.

Route Description: We followed the source lake divide and skied down to snow lake before heading back using the same track we took on the way in.

Weather: The weather remained cool but sunny for most of the day. The wind was light around source lake and the surrounding slopes. The wind became more moderate at the Snow lake divide.

Snowpack: We did not dig a pit but tested the quality of the snow along our path with our poles. The snow remained light and low density all the way up to the divide, even after being in the sun for a couple of hours. On the north side of the divide, a hand pit revealed a stable upper layer. Some evidence of pinwheels could be found across southerly slopes. The upper layer became heavier by 1pm after hours of sun radiation but there were no signs of avalanche activity due to the warming.

Avalanches: We spotted one D1-D2 slab avalanche in higher elevation on a steep slope that may have occurred overnight. Additionally, we found several D1 loose wet avalanches on south facing slopes early in the day. Debris piles remained from avalanches from 2 days earlier, covered with close to a foot of snow.

Feb. 9, 2020, 5 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan
Observation by Mark Allen-NWAC Pro Obs East North

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Long tour surrounding the Liberty bell group at WA Pass

Route Description: Hair Pin Valley, Copper Creek, Blue Lake basin, and Liberty Bowl.

Weather: The weather was cool in the high 20's all day. Light winds with moderate gusts from the North. A thin veil of high stratus clouds were overcast most of the day with a few sun breaks. Very little solar effect on the surface today. Ski pen was 20-25cm Boot Pen was 35-40cm

Snowpack: Wind distribution was the most significant snow pack ob. (see Photo) Wind deposits on many aspects due to local terrain effect as well as cross loaded mid-slope features. We dug a test pit in the NE aspect at 6600ft in the back of Hairpin Valley near Kangaroo Pass. Over 100cm of accumulation since the Feb 1 MFC. Test only showed results in the new HN24 and upper storm layers. The most noteworthy interfaces were stubborn or would break apart. In a Pit on a SE aspect at 7000ft Near Blue Lake. The wind slab was the most reactive (CTE-SP) as was the Feb 5th Interface (CTM-SP, here represented as 5cm of gropel). The Feb 1st Interface also reacted-(CTH-SP) on FC below the MFC crust. We could not get these interfaces to react in a large column propagation tests. This was the only pit indicating near crust faceting (NCF) metamorphism on the Feb 1st MFC so far.

Avalanches: We ski cut a 10-15cm windslab on a windward 40 deg + test slope. This resulted in a thin slab to release (D0.5) that ran and then stepped down 25cm mid-slope with 100ft of propagation (D1.5) on a NW aspect at 7000ft. The bed surface is thought to be the 02/05 interface. What we learned from the tests, ski cuts, and travel was there is mostly stable snow with specific wind hazards and lurking storm hazards. By paying careful attention to the wind indications on the surface it helped us choose aspects with more stable storm snow or scoured surfaces. More, there are indeed isolated areas with reactive storm slabs on the 02/05 interface in steep complex or unsupported terrain.

Feb. 9, 2020, 2:30 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Andrew Goodwin

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Mt St Helens

Route Description: Worm flows climbing route

Weather: Clear and sunny. Freezing level about 6000' by mid day. High winds out of the north above 6,000'

Snowpack: A thick solid ice layer exists from 3000' to the summit at 8,200'. Above 6000 the surface is ice pebbles, with rime and ice knobs above 7,000' . The only snow is from Saturday and it was highly mobile in the wind accumulating as squeaky wind slabs up to 8" deep on lee slopes (south and east aspects). At mid afternoon, even at lower altitudes, there were no signs of avalanches and just a few rollers on steep sunny slopes at 4,000'. Skiers on steep 30-40 degree) wind loaded slopes we not triggering any avalanche activity.

Avalanches: none. The photo is of the ice at 6,000'

Feb. 9, 2020, 2 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Alison Mehravari

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Kendall Peak Lakes Road

Snowpack: Small (1mm) surface hoar growth seen above ~3000ft in elevation. Small pinwheels/roller balls started on steep SW-facing aspects by noon. Above ~3500ft in elevation untracked shaded snow was still reasonably light and powdery; below that elevation, it was much firmer and crusty.

Feb. 9, 2020, 2 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Observation by Andrew Kiefer

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Mt. Baker NRA

Route Description: Schriebers Meadow/Easton Glacier/Park Butte

Weather: Thin, high-level clouds in the AM becoming clear above 5500ft in the PM. Increasing valley fog throughout the day. Light and variable winds, blowing snow visible high in the alpine. Temperatures in the upper 20s F.

Snowpack: HS ranges 350-450cm above 4000ft. The low elevation snowpack has been resilient to all the rain with 50cm HS at 1500ft. Above 4000ft, 25cm recent HST (F-4F) overlies 2cm thick 2/7 MFcr (P). 30cm DF (4F-1F) above 2/4 MFcr (10cm thick K hard). Stubborn density break down 10cm within HST, but otherwise no layers of concern. Below 2/4 MFcr the snowpack is deep and strong - alternating layers of MFcr, RG, MFpc.

Avalanches: Natural slab avalanches to size D2 in very steep west through south facing terrain high on the Black Buttes. There were also a few snowmobile triggered D1 wind slabs in the rolling moraines on either side of the Easton Glacier. Photos: Snowmobile triggered D1 wind slab above Metcalfe Moraine (SW, 6400ft). 10-40cm deep, failed on a density break within recent wind drifted snow.

Feb. 9, 2020, noon PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Nate Hough-Snee

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Schilling Creek Bowls

Route Description: Standard summer trail approach to ridgelines

Weather: Clear, Windy, 26-30c at 6000'

Snowpack: HS > 300 cm at 6200'.

Avalanches: Large natural cycle in the alpine from the wet and windy storms of the 5-8th. Natural cornice triggered, wind slab, and relictual storm slabs on slopes steeper than 35-degrees and on all aspects above 6k' from D2 to D3. Some wind slabs broke on the deeper crust, but most appeared to be shillower wind and storm slabs originating from density changes or cornice falls.

Feb. 9, 2020, 10:15 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Don Holloway

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Before the Avalanche at White Pass

Feb. 9, 2020, 9:30 a.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Seth Hampson

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? Yes

Area Description: Source Lake / China

Route Description: Touring from source lake to Bryant gully / China area. The location of the accident occurred between great scott bowl and the bench above the Bryant gully. This is the most committed part of the tour, requiring touring up steep terrain on an open slope.

Weather: Sunny and beautiful :)

Snowpack: > 24 hour old storm snow between 6-16 inches depending on elevation (~1.5 ft at elevation of accident). With some active testing and observation the storm snow seemed to be well bonded to the rain layer below. Although, we made a few key mistakes leading up the the accident. 1. We saw fresh avalanche debris right before the committed part of the tour (on an adjacent slope) that seemed to be more recent than yesterday's storm snow activity. 2. We saw that the slope we were planning to tour up was clearly wind loaded (bulged a bit, different color and texture). 3. When starting to tour up the steep section we kicked off a small isolated wind loaded pocket (~10 feet wide & 3-4 inches deep), that indicated that the slope was in fact wind loaded.

Avalanches: The avalanche occurred while breaking trail up a steep slope. It was a fresh wind slab that broke about 30 feet above me and pulled me down with it. I was carried for ~300 feet and was partially buried around to my knees. Fortunately it was a clean runout. I had a cheap and very humbling lesson today. Characteristics -3-6 inch crown, ~50 feet wide -Size 1.5 -Ran ~300 feet

Feb. 9, 2020, 9:15 a.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Charlie Hagedorn

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Snoqualmie Pass, 4700 feet, low angle, W aspect. Site sees wind effect, especially with west flow

Weather: Thin high clouds/clear. Moonset/sunrise beautiful. -10 C at 730. Wind calm/light from W. Thin clouds covered the E peaks at 500, thin clouds now pouring westbound over the pass

Snowpack: HS 300-350 at profile site. Top 30 cm dry, rest quite moist and soft. No obvious free water. CTE on multiple layers in the top 20 cm. Planar fractures 135 down while digging were unresponsive to CT and DT.

Avalanches: None yet, but the sun is out :).

Feb. 8, 2020, 6:31 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Johnathon Kovacs

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: South side mount adams

Route Description: From below tree line to treeline.

Weather: Mix sun and clouds, snow and wind early

Snowpack: 1-1.5ft of fresh snow pellet type powder, extremely wet underneath. Some crust layers in areas, but pretty consistent dense mash taters for what appeared to be through rest of snow pack.

Avalanches: No

Feb. 8, 2020, 6:30 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Observation by Rich Siemer

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Just above Swift Creek

Route Description: Up to Swift Creek and down Five Minute Trees. Objective was studying snowpack and conducting avalanche rescue training with Bellingham Mountain Rescue.

Weather: Variable: sun breaks, partly cloudy, snow, calm winds, temps in the high 20s.

Snowpack: More layers than you could count. Overnight 12" consisted of 3 distinct layers: med density powder, thin wind crust and denser powder. Below that were various layers of four finger to one finger with a thin weak layer ~18". Distinct rain crust at 30" (see photo) with very weak grains just below. CT 6-ish on the 18" weak layer with a Q2 shear. Test continued to CT 26 which failed on the weak layer just below the rain crust with a Q2 shear. Low energy for both failures.

Avalanches: No new ones observed but plenty of recent debris.

Feb. 8, 2020, 2 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Iceberg Trees

Route Description: Skied Iceberg Trees to the lake then climbed back to Herman Saddle

Weather: Obscured with broken period

Snowpack: A Pit was dug on a small north facing s20 degree slope. the snowpack three distinct rain crusts: one at 27cm of depth, 45cm depth and the 2/1 rain event crust at 75cm. Unconsolidated right side up fist, to four finger snow sat on top of the crust at 27 cm.

Avalanches: A human triggered D1 avalanche was observed below Table Mountain to the East of the Prow. It appears that the trigger point was on a convex roll with trees. Multiple skiers rode without hitting the convex roll and did not trigger an avalanche before the final skier hit the weak spot.

Feb. 8, 2020, 2 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: East facing , what I think is called Pika bowl? Approx 35 degrees at fracture.

Route Description: Hairpin below Washington pass, HWY 20. Skinned up the valley then hard climbers right up east facing slope. At the treeline/bowl interface.

Weather: In and out, cloudy, some sun. Mid twenties, intermittent/moderate wind.

Snowpack: 12-16 in. new storm snow, slightly wind effected where the fracture occured.

Avalanches: Pulled small pocket, propagated from hard snowboard turn. 1 foot crown, propagated approx 25 feet.

Feb. 8, 2020, 1:30 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Source Lake Basin Approach, winter route, south of creek (s fork of Snoqualmie river), 3470’ , East aspect .

Route Description: See above; did not travel above 3500’ due to time constraints

Weather: BKN at 11:00, OVC at 12:00, S-1, L winds W/SW, 33 degrees F

Snowpack: See attached Snow Pilot photo. New/old snow interface reacted to hand shears with some resistance, non-planar break (Q3). Not reactive to skin track tests. Generally very saturated, rain runnels and rollerballs observed.

Avalanches: Saw evidence of small (D1) naturally occurring loose wet avalanches at beginning of day; shallow, short run path.

Feb. 8, 2020, 1 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Observation by Baker Mountain Guides AIARE 2 None

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Mt Baker backcountry. East facing aspect below Herman saddle.

Route Description: Herman saddle through Bagley basin.

Weather: In and out of clouds coupled with low precipitation in the afternoon.

Snowpack: Dug pit on a 22 degree East facing aspect below Herman Saddle 5140'. Obscured sky condition. L wind speed out of the south. S-1. Layers of concern were the Feb 1 crust at 35cm and a Melt freeze crust at 100cm.. Dug down 130cm below knife hard crust. CTM at 35cm RP w/ a ECTP17 at 35cm (2/1 crust) RP. PST 100/100 END down 90.

Avalanches: Mt. Baker backcountry. Dog chute. Unknown time. Possibly early 2/8 or 2/7. North Facing. D1.5.

Feb. 6, 2020, 3:33 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan
Observation by Peter Larsen

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Cuthroat creek

Route Description: S. aspect 4200'-5400' . Wind sheltered old growth treed rib. varigated undulateing 20-30 deg. broken glades .

Weather: low 30s lt. snow @4200 in am. to high 20s and heavy snow @5400 in pm.

Snowpack: Trace new snow over lt. frozen rain crust over 6" heavy humid snow on 2" supportable crust @ 4200'. lt. rain crust not evident up 200' and above . Soft newer storm snow was 18" deep and colder @ 5400' lying on the 2" crust layer. No fractureing or propagation , but snowballing and sloughing on select steeper convex rollover terrain features . No snow on trees @4000' . 4200' and up trees were fully loaded.

Avalanches: Poor visibility , none seen or heard.

Feb. 5, 2020, 6 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan
Observation by Mark Allen-NWAC Pro Obs East North

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Cutthroat Creek Area

Route Description: Cutthroat Creek Area- North Facing tour up to Alpine Zone (ATL)

Weather: Temps in the low 20's in the morning that rose to near or above freezing at 5500ft. Overcast (OVR) and obscured (X)at times. Snowing lightly all day S-1 to S1. The rise in temps turned the precipitation to rain below 4000ft and affected the surface up to 5500ft.

Snowpack: The last major warming 01/31 created a robust crust that is easily discoverable with your pole 1-3ft under the surface. Since then, 70cm of storm snow Near Tree Line NTL has been deposited on this crust. The upper portions of this new 70cm is higher density than the dry snow below. There is a similar up-side-down relationship below the stiffer wind slabs in the Alpine. We are keeping an eye on the 02/04 interface that sat in on the surface in very cold temperatures for 72hrs earlier week. This 02/04 interface is now .5 -1ft down does have NSF (facets). This interface was active in test, but unremarkable results with stubborn and rough shears. What is remarkable, was the surface form on 02/05. Large wet grouple BTL and dry grouple NTL and above. This unique snow type could be a potential bed surface for the next storm slab.

Avalanches: There was a significant Wet Slab cycle that is still evident resulting in large debris piles running 70% of the historic path during the warming 01/31 (see photo). The debris is now covered by new snow from the last HN24. The crowns are very visible in the Alpine start zones with wide and significant propagation. A smaller by widespread wind slab cycle ran during the storm 02/01. Todays cycle on 02/05 were small D1 storm slabs that did natural in steep terrain and on steep convex ski cuts. These were a potential preview of a Storm Slab problem NTL running on the 02/04 and 02/05 interfaces