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Observations

April 18, 2019, 12:30 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: Paradise: Skyline trail to Glacier Vista and the bottom of Panorama Face. Golden Gate bowls, and Edith Creek

Route Description: Paradise Area:

Weather: Overcast skies with light rain in the morning. Rain ending late morning but clouds remaining. Temperatures were above freezing (37F to 41F). Winds light to moderate out of the WSW. No blowing snow.

Snowpack: Snow surface moist to wet from rain, becoming slightly drier as the rain ended. Generally, the snow was ski and boot supportable with boot penetrations around 10cm. Some locations were deeper, up to 25cm. We triggered large (18+") rollerballs on steep slopes at 6300' West aspect. A small test slope nearby produced very minimal loose wet activity, where the sliding snow did not entrain any additional wet snow. Cornices in the area were often large and sagging. We saw one "cornice crevasse" where a cornice failed onto the slope below but stopped. This left a large crevasse like feature on the ridgeline.

Avalanches: We did not see any new avalanches from today, however, noted several older avalanches. Three large natural cornice fall avalanches were observed on a SE aspect around 7200' near McClure Rocks. These appear to have occurred since the precip ended on 4/14. The largest was D2.5 (not pictured). We observed one old glide avalanche on an SW aspect of Cowlitz Rock. This large avalanche likely occurred over a week ago. Poor visibility and the far distance made it difficult to assess the size of this avalanche.

April 16, 2019, 4 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 and Snowlake divide.

Route Description: Standard winter route to snowlake. Intended on going further but rain turned me back.

Weather: Moderate rain up past 4400 feet. Mixing slightly at 4400 ft.

Snowpack: Immeasurably deep snowpack greater than 250cm at the snowlake divide. A boot deep consolidated mush layer. Sticky and unsupportable. My guess it was nice snow until the rain came. Made some lazy attempts to push this top layer around on unsupported slopes. Overhung stuff would move but break apart. Slopes as steep as 45 degrees were not moving and also interestingly not wet-sliding. However I kept my exposure to smaller convex's without terrain traps and moved from bench to bench generally keeping things to a more mild pitch. Skiing wasn't great.

Avalanches: Plenty of debris liters the alpental valley but nothing observer today. Most of the debri looked to be several days old.

April 16, 2019, 2 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes Central - Lake Chelan to South of I-90
Observation by Joseph Dellaporta

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

Area Description: Blewett Pass/Wenatchee Mtns.

Route Description: Climbed via Tronson Meadows and up east aspect of Diamondhead

Weather: Wind was light. Broken sky, increasing clouds throughout the day. Temperatures in low 40's.

Snowpack: Surface snow was firm and supportable through the mid morning due to to night freezing temperatures. By 11 AM, top 5-10 cm softened nicely and made for some good corn skiing. In a quick test profile, I noticed a layer 23 cm down that had large, wet grains. The hardness of this layer was 4F. Above and below this layer the snowpack seemed fairly uniform. The HS at 4990 ft on an east aspect was 95 cm . The snowpack in this area is pretty thin at this point with lots of rocks pointing out. The approach in was patchy.

Avalanches: Witnessed an old debris pile near the top of Diamondhead on East aspect, at 5500 ft approximately. Most likely from a large wet loose.

April 15, 2019, noon PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Amanda Spiegel

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

Area Description: SE face of tye peak

Route Description: we came went via skyline lake to summit tye peak.

Weather: clear, sunny, warming

Snowpack: no pits: getting wetter and heavier as the day went on

Avalanches: signs of recent point releases, mostly beneath cliff bands, and one tiny cornice fall. plenty of sluffs and rollerballs (some giant). we triggered 1 small slab: WS-ASu-D1-R2-I

April 14, 2019, 6:15 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Observation by Jack Gavin

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

Area Description: Heather Meadows - Mazama Bowl & Iceberg lake

Route Description: Skied a couple laps on the N facing slopes of Mazama bowl and a west facing shot down to Iceberg lake.

Weather: Low wind, OVC but you could feel the power of the spring sun still. Sporadic S-1

Snowpack: The upper snowpack seems to be adjusting very well to the recent new snow. New snow is right side up, and we didn't see any signs of major instability. Didn't note any windslabs either.

Avalanches: Sluffing on steeper stuff--manageable.

April 14, 2019, 1 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan
Observation by Andrew Philbin

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

Area Description: Silver Star Glacier, Silver Star Mountain.

Route Description: Looker's left lobe of glacier to final steeper slope below upper col.

Weather: Snow showers and decreasing wind, some sun breaks, visibility fluctuating rapidly on the glacier.

Snowpack: Newer dry snow increased in depth from a dusting below the creek valley headwall to what seemed ~30cm on upper glacier. Difficult to tell because of extensive wind affect and transport on glacier in numerous directions. Widespread slabbed surface snow with some favored areas showing 30cm or more of firmer slab with somewhat poor bond to harder surface underneath. Widespread small cracking underfoot but in some areas it increased to >2m long. Smaller, more obvious and more sensitive drifts were relatively easy to fracture 30-60cm deep with much more widespread cracking. Observed a few localized collapses in suspect areas.

Avalanches: Old debris from wet slides on west-facing terrain adjacent to creek valley. Newer debris on east-slopes, possibly from smaller loose slides. One small crown amongst (loose?) debris on steep lee (east or northeast) slope above main glacier.

April 14, 2019, noon PST

Region: East Slopes Central - Lake Chelan to South of I-90
Observation by Nick M

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

Area Description: Jim Hill

Avalanches: Skier triggered windslab off ridge on a N-NW facing aspect at ~6400 ft. Crown was 6-18” deep and slide ran 700-800 feet. Skier was carried 150-200 feet and remained on top of slide. No injuries or lost equipment.

April 14, 2019, 10:45 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Observation by Drew Davies

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

Area Description: Artists point/ Bagley lake

Route Description: Toured to artists point then skied down toward Bagley lake.

Weather: Snowing getting heavy into the afternoon.

Avalanches: Avalanche was triggered while descending from artists point to Bagley lake at 5000ft, Crown was about a foot deep and 60ft wide. 2 in our party slid about 20-30 ft, no injuries.

April 13, 2019, 3:50 p.m. PST

Region: Mt Hood
Observation by Kyle Wyatt

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

Area Description: NE facing ridge just below Cloud Cap Inn @6000’

Route Description: Ascended up Tilly Jane trail to Cloud Cap Inn, then skied Old Wagon Wheel road.

Weather: Visibility was obscured, rain/snow at cloud cap inn, strong winds 35-40mph

Snowpack: Snow was saturated and dense down to 50 cm then there was 25-30 cm of clustered MF 1.5-2 mm in size at fist hardness. I performed only one column test because I was short on time, result was a CT11 @ 50 cm (SC).

April 13, 2019, 3 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? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Paradise: Atla Vista, to Skyline Trail, to Glacier Vista, to Lower Cornice, to Golden Gate, to Edith's Rib, to 4th Crossing, to Alta Vista

Route Description: Paradise Area: Edith Creek/Glacier Vista

Weather: Stormy: Obscure skies all day. Generally light (S1) snow with periods of moderate snow. HN24 12-15cm. Winds were moderate out of the SW. light to moderate blowing snow at ridgecrest. Temps were near freezing all day. High 33F, Low 29F

Snowpack: HST: 12-15cm over yesterday's warm/wet snow surface. HST bonding very well to the old surface. That wet snow is becoming a 12-15cm thick melt-freeze crust. Upper snowpack: alternating layers of dry snow with moist to wet melt forms. Isolated wInd drifts to 30cm on exposed E aspects. New sharp cornices on NE-E-SE slopes. Wind transported snow as very stubborn and did not show signs of instability. Nearly all test slopes did produced no-results. when loaded. W aspects were scoured to 4/12 frozen crust.

Avalanches: Fresh cornices were touchy and failed with minimal effort. Some of these were corning larger. I triggered 2 small wind slabs 8" thick and 15 feet wide on test slopes. Most test slopes (12-15 attempts) did not produce any results. Several (6) large and numerous (>20) small loose wet avalanches from 4/12. These occurred on a variety of aspects and elevations. Debris piles were up to 6-8 feet thick.

April 12, 2019, noon PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Keegan Runnals

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

Area Description: Edith Creek Basin, Mt Rainier

Route Description: Skinned up lower half of Edith creek

Weather: Light snow with some sun breaks, mid 30's at the parking lot

Snowpack: Over 12" of moist new snow

Avalanches: Lots of loose wet releasing from steep surrounding slopes.

April 12, 2019, 11 a.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: South Side of Mt. Baker

Route Description: Parked at 3000ft on NF-13 road - Schriebers Meadow - Easton Glacier - Park Butte

Weather: Obscured skies through the morning and early afternoon with brief periods of clearing. Waves of mixed precipitation with fluctuating snow levels. Rain as high as 4500ft and light snow showers above. Limited direct solar input, but greenhousing and high temperatures in the mid 40's at 4000ft. Calm winds.

Snowpack: 25-40cm of recent snow sits on a MFcr (P hard) buried 4/10. Snow totals vary, with 35-40cm of dryer snow above 5500ft. Below, the new snow is moist and wet. On all aspects and at all elevations, the new snow is settling and well bonded to the old snow surface. Below the 4/10 MFcr, alternating layers of MFpc and MFcr are relatively uniform and consolidated. The snowpack is melting out quickly below 4000ft.

Avalanches: Numerous wet loose avalanches in rocky terrain 40 degrees and steeper. These occurred naturally on 4/11 and 4/12 on all aspects 5000ft and below due to rain and warming. Most were size D1 with 2 D2 observed. Wet loose activity was most widespread between 3500-4500ft where the recent snow was the weakest and wettest.

April 11, 2019, 2 p.m. PST

Region: Olympics
Observation by Enji Cooper

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

Area Description: Mount Ellinor

Route Description: I took the winter route up Mount Ellinor, which involves going up steep terrain (around 35-60 degrees according to AllTrails [1]) in a snow chute [2] to access the ridge line to the summit. 1. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/washington/mount-ellinor-trail 2. https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2019-04-11.9041642934

Weather: It was snowing as I was going up. The flakes were small, so I assumed it was either around freezing or below it. Others on WTA reported gusts earlier on in the day going up the chute [1], but didn't note the direction that the wind loading was taking place. 1. https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2019-04-11.7932457093

Snowpack: The couple/few top layers (1 inch each) were weak. The snow chute was safe to travel on, but the area around the snow chute illustrated a fair amount of instability (guessing 2 feet of fist/4 finger pressure weak snow, based on how much I was pushing down with my trekking poles, which isn't very measurable -- sorry!). While the snow was safe to travel on during the day, I was going far too late in the day to safely summit with snowshoes due to the slushiness. Others [1] made it up with ice axes and crampons earlier on in the day. I unfortunately didn't bring my avalanche shovel/dig a snow pit. I will be doing that next time so I can provide a more accurate analysis. 1. https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2019-04-11.7932457093

Avalanches: I didn't see any noticeable avalanches up the chute or along the route, however, there were small rollerballs coming down from the top of the chute as I ascended and more loading was placed on the snowpack.

April 11, 2019, 1:05 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: Uphill from Skid Road Trail at Stevens Pass, in-bounds.

Route Description: I came off of the Tye Mill chair and went into the trees headed above the Skid Road Trail. I was traversing towards the Lower Rock Garden area.

Weather: Light Snow.

Snowpack: About a foot of fresh snow. Good snow coverage.

Avalanches: There were several small slides in this area throughout the morning and the snow appeared to be unstable. In the afternoon I came back and while traversing I seen a fairly decent size avalanche come down off of the ridge above me. I was able to maneuver out of it’s path but the slide had made a 5+ ft debris pile across the trail including a small tree. It appeared that the crown was about 12” deep. It was definitely big enough to bury someone. Did not see any tracks in the area so not sure what triggered slide.

April 10, 2019, 1 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: Crystal Backcountry: Bullion Basin/Bullion Peak

Route Description: Traveled from Crystal to Bullion Basin via the normal summer trail. Ascended the NW ridge to Bullion Peak, descended the N ridge of Bullion until it became treed then returned via Bullion Basin.

Weather: Broken to overcast skies with some filtered sunshine. Very light to light snow showers with 1-2cm of accumulation in the morning. Winds were moderate only at ridge crest, with some drifting snow.

Snowpack: HN24: 1-2cm of snow. HST from 4/09: 15-20cm. The Upper snowpack alternates layers of dry snow and wet melt-forms. See photo. The lower layer of wet snow consists of large grain weak wet melt-forms. The mid-snowpack is primarily melt-forms and crusts with some occasional pockets of dry strong rounds.

Avalanches: One recent loose wet avalanche on SW 5400' of East Peak: L-N-D1.5-R1-G likely from 4/09. See Photo: Other notable avalanches on the N and NE bowls of Bullion Peak and on the East Face of Crown Pt. The blocky nature of the debris suggests either a cornice fall or hard slab. The debris was covered by the snow from 4/9. It was difficult to decern the character of these avalanches. Several other smaller and less notable loose wet avalanches were observed on East Peak and Crown Pt.

April 7, 2019, 6 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie 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: Alpental

Weather: Hot n Steamy. Light drizzle with sun breaks through the clouds, strong solar radiation. No wind.

Snowpack: Wet and heavy, saturated storm snow over older, large wet grains. Did not travel far, but I did break through into a deep hole near a hidden rock in-bounds when taking skis off.

Avalanches: An impressive glide slab that in turn pulled out a deep, wet slab in Shot 8 occurred at some point last night or early AM with the heavy precipitation. Numerous, and seemingly widespread wet loose activity to D2 observed in surrounding backcountry during Vertfest, which BTW was awesome.

April 7, 2019, noon PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Howard Hughes

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

Area Description: Pineapple Basin

Route Description: Typical route from Alpental upper lot to the top of Pineapple basin.

Weather: Fog, cloudy, 40 degrees, 5-10 kt S Wind at the top of the pass.

Snowpack: 3-5' new, wet.

Avalanches: Saw and heard large wet, loose avalanches triggering from the bottoms of cliffs, and steep terrain on all aspects. When we got to the basin we were surprised on the descent when the first of our party triggered a small wet loose avalanche at the top, on a pitch that I did not consider avalanche terrain. On our second ascent of the basin, a medium sized naturally triggered slide came through and partially buried the last member of our party. After recovering and traversing away from the path, we decided to head down. While transitioning, the debris from that slide started moving again and picked up surprising speed. As we carefully made our way back to the gully, we saw another slide trigger from the bottom of a cliff and propagate with impressive speed,

April 6, 2019, 4 p.m. PST

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

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

Route Description: Table Mountain tour - Artist Point - Ptarm Pass - Herman Saddle

Weather: 7000' ceiling w/ moderate S'ly winds and no precip early AM. Cloud deck lowered, winds increased and renewed snowfall (S-1) by 10:30. Major increase in winds (+60mph at Pan Dome) at noon with another increase in precipitation intensity.

Snowpack: 6" of moist 1F new snow at 5000' - the 20cm of old snow below new/old interface very weak 4F MF grains, quickly becoming 1F/P in hardness. New snow bonded well to old snow surface. Much variation in wind redistribution - wind slabs up to 40cm deep. Easy to initiate fracture in wind slabs (?20cm) in steep terrain but very stubborn to get moving on all but the most unsupported terrain features. Ski quality better than expected.

Avalanches: No new avalanches from last 24hrs observed.

April 6, 2019, 4:30 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Austin Bowlin

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

Area Description: Crystal Mt. area/The King

Route Description: Toured up from Crystal Mt. Base on the west side of silver basin. Snow did not look particularly stable by Three Peak, so we stayed at the tree line and then skied up to the backside of the King approaching from the south.

Weather: Lots of wet snow falling until 11am. Followed by sun and gusty wind.

Snowpack: 6-8 inches of new on top of a former base. Definite wind loading and new cornices. There were cornices on north and east facing ridges.

Avalanches: Skiers triggered a remote slide in the Hour Glass off the King (~10 inch crown, 20 feet across). We triggered a wet slide off our line (photos included).