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Observations

May 13, 2018, 5 p.m. PST

Region: Olympics
Observation by ERIC JOHNSON

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

Area Description: Gray Wolf Ridge

Route Description: North Face

Weather: Sunny and warm

Snowpack: Soft and wet surface snow, packing down well to more firm snow underneath with little instability noticed mid-afternoon descending north facing slopes. The avalanche crown observed on the north face of Gray Wolf Ridge was from a few days earlier, possibly even the day before. All ascended/descended Gray Wolf Ridge 7218' and South Gray Wolf 7076' in warm temps on Sunday safely, and one of our party also ascended/descended the north face/ridge of Walkinshaw in late afternoon without incident.

Avalanches: 200' wide crown

May 13, 2018, 5 p.m. PST

Region: Olympics
Observation by ERIC JOHNSON

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

Area Description: Gray Wolf Ridge

Route Description: North Face

Weather: Sunny and warm

Snowpack: Soft and wet surface snow, packing down well to more firm snow underneath with little instability noticed mid-afternoon descending north facing slopes. The avalanche crown observed on the north face of Gray Wolf Ridge was from a few days earlier, possibly even the day before. All ascended/descended Gray Wolf Ridge 7218' and South Gray Wolf 7076' in warm temps on Sunday safely, and one of our party also ascended/descended the north face/ridge of Walkinshaw in late afternoon without incident.

Avalanches: 200' wide crown

May 12, 2018, 7:06 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan
Observation by Mr Wippys BC Circus

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

Snowpack: Creamed corn up high to slush down low, south facing blue peak. Pica bowl, slush and wet slide debris

Avalanches: On the way up Highway 20 yesterday observed a large slab with a crown estimated to be 6 to 8 feet located in the upper Northwesterly facing Bowl off of the West Rib of SilverStar (near high point on skiers ridge line approx 6700 feet)It appears that in places it went to the ground and on the layer immediately above the ground. This appears to be recent. The slab broke 100 Vert feet or so below the ridge line. In the early Winters Creek headwaters. Hairpin, the rock walls above the three NE bowls south of Spire Gulch all went big recently, and ran to the valley, almost to their historical path boundaries. These large Avalanches deposited wet debris estimated to be 20 feet deep in places, in the Cave Bowl run out, with large chunks. Well worth a look. From Spire Gully southeast up the hairpin, these NE bowls are known as Cave Bowl, Cliff Bowl and Steroid Bowl. The next bowl to the Southeast is known as Pika Bowl below Pika Peak ( not to be confused with "Poster Peak", which really doesn't exist). Pika Bowl also had some debris that came off the walls, however the walls in that area aren't as extensive as the three other bowls so therefore not as much debris that only ran 300 to 400 feet or so. The Avalanche that came off the Cave Bowl walls entrained the snow in Lower Rock waterfall face down to bare rock.

May 12, 2018, noon 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: Observations made from Lichtenwasser Lake below Lichtenberg Mountain.

Avalanches: Very large cornices on the NE facing slopes below Lichtenberg mountain (see photo). At least one recent cornice fall that triggered an avalanche, which appeared to have happened within the last few days.

May 11, 2018, noon PST

Region: East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan
Observation by peter loft

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

Area Description: i was below the first major head wall on the standard ski route to silver star.

Route Description: i travelled up the silver star creek following the standard ski ascent route. i stopped just below the first head wall, one normally would ascent to get to the silver star glacier

Weather: upper 30-low 40s, cloudy

Snowpack: very mushy intermixed with decent corn

Avalanches: there was a huge slide down from lower section on the silver star glacier that had probably a 6-10' crown, that scoured to the bed rock the headwall just to the west of the one skiers would typically ascent. it was recent, in that the snow blocks and chunks showed no sign of having melted. my guess is within the last 3 days...i have skied silver star repeatedly for 20 years, and never seen this area slide like that before.

May 5, 2018, 11 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: North Cascades NP, Cascade Pass area

Route Description: Hiked/skinned the road toward the Cascade Pass TH with the intention of going to the Sahale Arm via Cascade Pass. Altered our route to more protected terrain upon witnessing multiple slides above our intended route.

Weather: Sunny, warm (felt like it could have been in the low 70s?), negligible wind.

Snowpack: Did not dig a pit.

Avalanches: Visual confirmation of 4 loose-wet slides (natural triggers from what we could tell) off of north-facing aspects of The Triplets (cornice collapse), Cascade Peak, and Johannesburg. We heard a total of 10 slides (1-2 were possible rock fall off of Johannesburg) in the vicinity of those three peaks while on the road over the course of 4 hours (11:00am-3:00pm). Kept to the road, skied a small, low angle tree patch to the North of the road with no large slopes above.

May 3, 2018, 10 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes Central - Skagit River to South of I-90
Observation by frank None

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

Area Description: Mt. Pilchuck

Route Description: Hiked from Heather Lk TH, Summited, SE Gulley (gunsight) ski cut and bail, then skied WNW on the summit ridge and dropped onto N slopes under Pilchuck's rock headwall. 10am 1' pole pen in se gulley.

Weather: Sunny, hot.

Snowpack: No/little overnight freeze, ski cutting at 6am VS 10am would have yielded simliar loose wet results.. slow moving slides, entraining, powerful still. Lifting the downhill ski and letting snow drain through legs was a challenge. B&W photo is Larrison Ridge.

Avalanches: @ 5000', NNE-N slopes there was a 6+' crown that went across a huge portion of these slopes, under Pilchuck's N facing headwall. Likely the result of cornice failure/slope impact along the summit ridge, not sure when it happened. I did not see this crown until back at the Pilchuck TH, so it was observed from a distance, 6' crown wall is my best guess. The lip at the top of the crown appeared sharp, not rounded/melted. May have happened recently. Deep instabilities still exist, stay clear of cornices and the slopes they will impact during your travels! Also, 'minor' loose wet slides that pour over cliffs onto a lower slope could possibly trigger these deep instabilities.. something to keep in mind.

April 30, 2018, 3 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
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: Cascade Pass-North Cascades NP

Snowpack: 5cm of new snow above 6000ft over the old MF crust. Snowpack is weak wet grains, unconsolidated between 4500 and 6500ft. On West at 5900ft I feel an obvious weak layer with probing probe a few cm's thick above a stout MF crust 120cm down, was thinking this is probably the same layer that these wet slabs are failing on in the area.

Avalanches: Lots of recent deep slabs and gouging wet loose slides in the area. The valley floor is filled with debris of very large slides (up to D4) below Cascade Pass. I don't believe this one was reported from the ob on 4/26. First spotted at 3pm on 4/30 and looked quite fresh. North at appx 5100ft. Ran right over the "winter route" to Cascade Pass as described in Volkens book. Doesn't seem like we are done yet with this layer.

April 29, 2018, 10:30 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Bryan None

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

Area Description: Silver basin

Route Description: Started at Crystal mountain parking lot and travelled to Southback towards three way peak

Weather: Cloudy/intermittent sun with mix of snow/sleet/rain

Snowpack: Wet consolidated snow in the morning followed by mashed potatoes in the afternoon

Avalanches: Saw evidence of a large slab release west of three way peak and evidence of several cornice failures, most likely from recent warm cycle. Noted no instability today

April 26, 2018, noon PST

Region: Olympics
Observation by Ben P

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

Area Description: Approach gully on the upper Mt Ellinor winter route.

Route Description: Turned around at around 5000' after seeing a larger loose wet slide, not far from the top of the gully climb. Decided that it was better to try again another day. after the snow had more time to stabilize.

Weather: Cloudless skies and WARM (probably the warmest day all week). Perfect weather for wet avalanches, on south facing aspects especially.

Snowpack: Lots of unconsolidated, wet snow. Slushy 5-10" on south-facing aspects by noontime, and we were postholing with every step up the hill. Not many signs of avalanche activity in the morning despite the warm weather all week.

Avalanches: No rollerballs were present as we began our ascent of the steep gully at 11ish, but we did see a few minor loose wets that ran 20' and stopped, not entraning much snow. At about 5000' a decent sized wet loose avy let loose, running for about 200' (20-30ft wide) and luckily stopping just above a convex roll (terrain becomes much steeper below the crest of this convex roll, right where the climbing route is). The gully is narrow and there's not much room to get out of the way of avys any larger than this one, so we bailed. A quick and fun glacade to the bottom of the gully led us out of danger.