Observation: Douglas Island

Location: Fish Creek Knob

Route & General Observations

Late afternoon fieldwork. Traveled up the Fish Creek Knob trees from Porcupine. Obvious drifting of snow even before leaving the porcupine area. Difficult to say how hard it was snowing due to the strong SE winds. By the time you gain the meadows, trees have significant scouring and drifts around them. At the base of the sheltered bowl, today’s snow had formed a 10-15cm thick storm slab above low-density snow from the beginning of the week, above a widespread crust. Hand shears at 2100ft were releasing easily and on ‘isolation’ in the low-density snow on the crust, but I didn’t see any cracking at this elevation. Strong SE winds were strong West winds within the bowl due to the local effect of the terrain, making for a slightly complex wind loading pattern. Dug a pit on a wind-loaded feature on the ridge around 2300ft. Skiing was great!

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Cracking was limited to obvious steep and/or directly wind-loaded features at treeline. A ski cut easily released one of these small features.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Strong SE winds and moderate snow fall.

Snow surface

New snow, storm slab and wind slab forming on previous low-density storm snow.


See snow profile image. Growing storm slab and wind slab, on previous low-density storm snow, on a crust. Below the crust, there is some inverse density of the layers (relatively strong over relatively weak), but nothing more than a hardness step, or reactive in tests.

Photos & Video
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