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Observations

March 29, 2020, 4:30 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes Central - Lake Chelan to South of I-90
Observation by Brian McKain

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

Area Description: Diamond Head on Blewett Pass

Route Description: North Slopes of Windy Peak and ENE slopes of Diamond head

Weather: Sky mostly broken with occasional light graupel/freezing rain (S-1). Light W - SW winds, temp average of 38-40 degrees

Snowpack: Typical spring transition snow. Breakable melt freeze/rain crust (5-8 cm) with wet rounds (15 cm) underneath. Hasty pit did not indicate any instabilities.

Avalanches: None observed

March 27, 2020, noon PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Patrick Stanton

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

Area Description: Mount Catherine

Weather: Rain (RV) below 4K and Snow (S-1) about 4k

Snowpack: ~ 30cm of increasing density with decreasing elevation. Sitting on the melt freeze crust from a week ago. Lots of trees shedding their snow load with warming. Numerous roller balls from aforementioned tree shedding.

Avalanches: Ski cuts on steeper slopes produced small loose slides that didn't travel far nor entrain additional snow.

March 25, 2020, 6 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: Summit west ski tour

Route Description: Let’s all work on parking much farther away from each other. Beautiful to be outside in creamy snow and spring sunlight/flurries.

March 25, 2020, noon PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Patrick Stanton

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

Area Description: Alpental Ski Area

Route Description: Normal Inbounds and Back Bowl Terrain

Weather: S-1 to Partial Clearing. ~ 3 cm 24 hr snowfall. High of 26 at 5470, 38 at 3100.

Snowpack: Upper elevations, new snow settling enough to allow riding above the firmer old snow surface. Lower elevations, higher temps and solar affect creating denser top layers and some thin crusts. Increased stability over 20200324, still some loose dry on higher elevations but less activity on lower elevations, seems to be better bonded to old snow layer.

Avalanches: No new naturals observed since 20200324, ski cuts were less responsive. Only some dry loose snow moving on steeper higher elevation slopes.

March 25, 2020, 8 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Phil Hull

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

Area Description: In-bounds White Pass ski area, ski run called Hourglass

Route Description: Traveled from the base area up to Pigtail Peak via the Cascade Catwalk

Weather: 26 degrees, no wind, occasional snow flurries with sun breaks

Snowpack: 6" to 8" of new snow in the previous 36 hours falling on groomed and skier-packed ski runs

Avalanches: A skier or boarder had triggered a small avalanche on an in-bounds, double-black diamond run called Hourglass. There was no crown but a point-release that carried down to the cat track.

March 24, 2020, noon PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Patrick Stanton

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

Area Description: Alpental Ski Area - during tear down of area operations

Route Description: Numerous Runs

Weather: S-1 most of the day with some sun breaks.

Snowpack: 5" of new snow sitting on old refrozen sun crust

Avalanches: Easy ski cuts on steeper slopes - running further than generally expected due to lack of cohesion on old snow surface- R1-D1. Aspects that saw sun/warming saw some small natural slides - R1-D1

March 24, 2020, 10 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Observation by Jessica King

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

Area Description: Mt Baker Bagley Lakes area

Route Description: 10 minute trees

Weather: Snow showers, 30 degrees

Snowpack: Approx. 8-10” fresh on top of hard snow pack from the past week

Avalanches: Wet loose slab from wind deposited snow due to the storm the past couple of days

March 22, 2020, 4:22 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Mordechai Treiger

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

Area Description: Steep slope above Murphy Lakes

Route Description: Snowshoed up to lower Murphy Lake and then heard and saw an avalanche on opposite side of the valley on our way to Upper Murphy Lake

Weather: No precipitation

Snowpack: Not qualified to classify

Avalanches: Heard/saw one, heard another. Tried to video the one we saw but by the time I reached a clearing in the trees it had petered out

March 22, 2020, 3:30 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Andy 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 route

Weather: Clear sunny, mostly calm Summit 28 F. At 2600' 27 F at dawn, 55 F by mid afternoon.

Snowpack: Snow converting to spring granular ice below 7,000. Still wind scoured snow and hard ice from 7,000- rim (8,250) Heavy hoar frost overnight melted in the sun today. Big cracks forming along cornices at 4900-5000'

Avalanches: No recent activity

March 22, 2020, 12:45 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Brigit Anderson

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

Area Description: Commonwealth Basin

Route Description: Commonwealth Basin up to Lundin

Weather: Increasing clouds through time out (9am-1:00pm). Light wind at ridgetop.

Snowpack: Increasing clouds and light wind kept snow surface relatively firm throughout AM. Softened up to corn after 12:00 on south/southwest facing aspects encountered.

Avalanches: None Observed from today. Multiple glide cracks observed on southerlies.

March 22, 2020, 7:36 a.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: Mount Saint Helens

Route Description: Worm flows climbing route

Weather: Sunny with slight haze. light wind.

Snowpack: surface snow consisted of melt-freeze crust to 7000', with melt-freeze crust covered in layer of rime starting above 7000'. Solid freeze overnight with good cramponing conditions, softening to corn by 11:00am. Small crevasses opening on swift glacier.

Avalanches: No avalanches observed from today. Multiple smaller (D1-D2) slab and loose wet avalanches, likely from previous days of the current spring cycle, observed on S and SE aspects between the worm flows and monitor ridge climbing routes. See crowns and debris in photo. Multiple glide cracks observed at lower elevations, 5000-6000'.

March 22, 2020, 7 a.m. PST

Region: Mt Hood
Observation by Andy Traylor

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

Area Description: Toured up from Timberline Resort to the Devil's Kitchen, then up the Flying Buttress (topped out at 10,700') and skied the WyEast Face.

Route Description: Pretty reasonable skinning on the refreeze crust up to 7,200' (a little bit above Silcox Hut) but skinning became increasingly difficult even with ski crampons higher up. Lots of large dinner plate and chicken head ice formations. I did find some portions of styrofoam snow from previous wind transport on the west aspect of small ridges and features. The Devil's Kitchen bowl held some wind-packed powder (foot pen ~20cm in some places). The WyEast Face was turning into great corn skiing, but I skied it early (about 10am). The south side of the face had odd, sporadicly distributed adhesions of wind-packed snow.

Weather: Started at 0530, back to the truck at 1100. Clear skies, no precip, temps varied from -2 to 6 C (~29 to 43 F). Wind was light down low and light to moderate up high. Cold gusts kept me from hanging out on the WyEast ridge to wait for better skiing conditions.

Snowpack: Generally either ice or a firm sun crust, with patches of wind-hardened snow in sheltered areas. I'm sure by early afternoon lots of good corn skiing could be had. I did not observe much cornice formation in the areas I traveled. I did notice that some of the small crevasses in the White River glacier were starting to open up as I traversed back to Timberline.

Avalanches: None. Some evidence of previous loose wet slides near the top of the White River glacier and around the Devil's Kitchen headwall.

March 21, 2020, 3:30 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Dallas Glass

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

Area Description: Comet Falls, Van Trump Park

Route Description: Comet Falls to Van Trump area

Weather: Mostly sunny with few to occasionally scattered clouds. Very warm temperatures with highs in the mid to upper 40s. Very light NW wind.

Snowpack: Below Treeline: HS 100-200cm. All melt-forms often weak and unconsolidated; variable refreeze. Generally unreactive. Near Treeline: HS 300-400cm. Melt-freeze crust from overnight ~15cm (6") with the top 60cm (2') of the snowpack melt forms. Cold dry snow below. Above Treeline: HS highly variable. Wind from last week significantly altered the snow surface. Large wind features. General: Sun affect on E-S-NW aspects at all elevations.

Avalanches: Loose wet avalanches on E-S-W aspects at all elevations, including crossing a common snowshoe trail below treeline. This wasn't a very impressive loose wet natural cycle. i could trigger small loose wet slides on steep SW-W slopes in the afternoon. Large glide cracks on many slopes, but no glide avalanches

March 21, 2020, 2 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Hough-Snee, Dellaporta, and Wire

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

Area Description: Nason Ridge west to east

Route Description: Traverse via the usual route

Weather: Clear, Calm, No transport, early inversion warming to above freezing on south, even in the alpine. Cool in northerly drainages and in the shade. Nice freeze-thaw cycles last week on south made for easy travel.

Snowpack: Not quite a spring shed in the last high pressure window. Colder snow on north where sheltered from wind. The snowpack is getting toward isothermal on steep, southerly terrain, but not there yet on most aspects/slopes. Some surface hoar in mid-slope, sheltered trees +/-5500'.

Avalanches: Large glide cracks on east and south above 5000'. Loose wet to D1/1.5 on anything getting abundant morning sun on east and anything with a southerly tilt. Some relictual D2 on solar rocks and southwest aspects where point releases entrained large areas of wet grains and carried the m through steep terrain.

March 21, 2020, 2 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Jeff Beyer

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 Route

Weather: Warm sun. Above freezing temps.

Snowpack: Soft and sun warmed.

Avalanches: Noticed some cracking occurring between 7200 and 7800 feet. I think picture was taken around 7400 or so. A few separate instances of these these cracks were seen. This one was the narrowest, but ~ 1 pole length deep. Some cracks were 10-12" wide and maybe deeper. Main skin route to summit went right over some of these.

March 21, 2020, 11 a.m. PST

Region: Mt Hood
Observation by Cory Dominguez

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

Area Description: Tom Dick and Harry

Route Description: Took the mirror lake trail head -- nearly a sheet of ice -- up to mirror lake and then head off to the right up onto the ridge. Decent down the first available chute. Traverse across the bowl and climb up and over the ridge to finish the day down using the skibowl west boundary run.

Weather: Warmish ~50 degree sunny. Snow was just softening up where in direct sunlight, quite frozen when in shadow.

Snowpack: Seemed fine: about 80-100 inches, but while going through skibowl saw plenty of ground down near the creek.

Avalanches: No avalanches or signs of previous avalanches.

March 20, 2020, 12:30 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Dallas Glass

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

Area Description: Source Lake, Alpental Backcountry

Route Description: Source Lake Environs, Draft Dodger Ridges, Pineapple Pass

Weather: Mostly sunny skies (Few to Scattered Clouds). Very warm temperatures (8C), very thin inversion layer with warm weather even early at mid-elevations. Light and variable winds.

Snowpack: Melt-freeze snow in the upper snowpack. Water percolating to about 60 cm (2'). Strong surface crust depending on overnight freeze, generally about 10-15cm (25cm in places). Weaker wet snow to 60cm. Strong dry rounds below. 2/13 crust still very evident down about 120cm (4'). Surface snow on E aspects softening for 2-3cm by 1030am.

Avalanches: Small loose wet avalanches from over the course of the week. Most are D1, some are D1.5. Not an impressive natural cycle. Larger wet avalanche between Guye and Snoqualmie Mt. Large debris pile with signs of older snow.

March 20, 2020, 10 a.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Patrick Stanton

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

Area Description: East face of Chair below North Buttress

Weather: Sunny mild

Avalanches: Three phase release below NE buttress down to bare rock. R1-D1.5 from third and biggest release. No subsequent releases observed during the day.

March 20, 2020, 9 a.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Andrew Baer

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

Area Description: Phantom trees, friendly peaks, phantom slide path

Route Description: Toured up the Phantom Trees to the South Friendly Peak. Was on the summit from 9:00-11:00. Skied S-SW aspect of the peak and then cut over to the bottom half of the Phantom Slide.

Weather: Sun, some clouds passing through.

Snowpack: Breakable crust or 3" deep slush in the trees depending on location, firm hardpack in the open.

Avalanches: Observed a large slab come off the E face of Chair Peak above the basin. Triggered what looked like a ~D1.5-2 slide that ran almost to the thumbtack. Picture included, snow broke off the newly bare patch right above the basin.

March 19, 2020, 2 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Matt Primomo

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

Area Description: Stevens Pass- Hwy 2 corridor

Weather: A few small cumulus clouds but otherwise blue skies and warm temps, no wind.

Avalanches: Quick obs of some recent activity in the zone: Spotted a handful of recent slides off the southeast aspect of Lichtenberg. Most of these were small slides, a couple were D2's and one was a large D2. The larger one appeared to have been initiated by a small chunk of a glide slab that broke off a rock slab. This glide slab has exposed lots of rock above it, so I wouldn't be surprised if it failed soon. Noticed a fair amount of glide cracks opening further off the south side of Rock Mountain. A few small wet loose slides off steep south slopes in the Highways Chutes, west of the pass on the north side of Hwy 2.

March 19, 2020, 2 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Kurt Mehrer

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

Area Description: Gold Creek

Route Description: Snowbike

Weather: Sunny

Snowpack: Solid, dense with 10cm wet slush on top at 2pm. Very icy conditions until 11am. We left parking lot at 10am, about an hour too early. Column test produce a failure at 30cm but only after 8 strong shoulder taps. Failed on a 3 cm crust.

Avalanches: Small wet slides from previous day.

March 19, 2020, 7 a.m. PST

Region: Mt Hood

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

Route Description: West Crater Rim

Weather: Warm, direct sunshine.

Snowpack: Wet surface snow near the rim. Hard, packed snow closer to hot rocks. thin ice sheet in between

Avalanches: There was loost-wet debris above hot rocks that I saw while taking the West Crater Rim route . Looks like it was a day or two old. It seemed to have been triggered about 3/4ths of the way up between hot rocks and the crater rim.

March 18, 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? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Mt. Baker NRA

Route Description: Easton Glacier/Park Butte

Weather: Sunny and calm. Freezing levels near 6000ft by mid-afternoon.

Snowpack: Above 4000ft, a mostly dry winter snowpack 4-5m deep exists and is in the early phases of a big spring transition. Snow surfaces are variable and affected by wind and/or sun in most areas. A diurnal melt-freeze cycle has begun, and is most noticeable on solar aspects below 5500ft. On shaded aspects above 4000ft, cold dry snow still exists. Some lingering surface instabilities exist in wind loaded terrain at upper elevations. No layers of concern below the 3/10 interface with a generally strong, uniform, and deep snowpack. Snow cover on NF-12 is melting out quickly below 2500ft. Parking at the big gravel pit (1800ft) will require some dirt riding. The second parking area is now accessible but has limited space to turn around (not recommended for trailers).

Avalanches: Numerous wet loose avalanches from the past few days, the majority of which were small and on S and W aspects (photo: Cathedral Crag, SW, 5000ft). A couple of larger wet loose avalanches observed to size D2 as well. The wet loose cycle has not yet its course and more will likely flush out with continued sun and warming. Also observed two recent snowmobile triggered wind slabs. One occurred the morning of 3/18 on the Easton Glacier on a S aspect near 7000ft on steep convexity HS-AM-R2-D2-U (see photo). The second snowmobile triggered wind slab was small and shallow (D1.5) and looked like it occurred on 3/17 on a N aspect at 4600ft above Pocket Lake. Also observed the debris from a large icefall avalanche on the Talum Glaciers (SE, ~8000ft) that ran sometime 3/16-17.

March 18, 2020, 11:30 a.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: Near treeline, partially open slopes , elevation 5,600'

Route Description: Winter ridge up to the north of sourdough mountain towards peak 6308. Walking on a ridge crest with moderately angled slopes on either side.

Weather: Sunny, and warm. NOA said 29°, felt like 60.

Snowpack: Hard punchy crust with waist deep, wet snow underneath.

Avalanches: I witnessed 2 wet slides on a SE aspect, along with 11 pinwheels. Heard alot of other slides l, across the lake on the northwest trending ridge of pinnacle peak, there was also a large wet slide.