On Tuesday, 8 Jan at about 4 pm a group of snowmachiners descending Seattle Ridge towards the parking lot triggered a massive avalanche on a face known as Repeat Offender.
For reference, as you look up at Seattle Ridge this is the area immediately to the left (south) of the route snowmachiners take up and down Seattle Ridge. This slide was 700’ wide and 6' deep at the crown face (breaking point) and left a debris pile over 30’ deep. This slab released at the ground which is not typical of slab avalanches. From what’s been reported so far, fortunately, no one was killed or injured.
This is the EXACT type of slide in the exact same spot that killed six riders in 1999.
It's been an unusual winter in terms of snowfall--Little snow and lots of rain through the fall then two weeks of nearly continuous snow in places like the Chugach and Kenai mountains. Normally open riding spots like Placer River are slush and ice but just 1,500 higher the snow is neck deep on a giraffe. This snow pattern has created deep slab snow pack that has not been seen in decades. There WILL be more big slides this year.
The mountain play areas are ticking bombs this year. Please ride smart.