Avalanche: Douglas Island

Location: Fish Creek Valley

Route & General Observations

Up and down showboat via Hooter

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger NaturalAvalanche Type Soft Slab
Aspect NorthElevation 2700ft
Slope AngleunknownCrown Depthunknown
WidthunknownVertical Rununknown
Avalanche Details

Touring up Showboat today, we noticed a natural avalanche that appeared to have run overnight in Fruit Bowl. It was in the shade, but it looks like a new windslab triggered off of the ridge and ran down the whole bowl to a large bench. Could not see the crown, but the debris tongue was impressive for the feature. Looked like some of the new snow was on the debris. We assumed that it failed within the recent storm snow or on the old/new snow interface.

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?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

20-30cms of new snow from last night is sitting on another 10-15cm of recent storm snow, all sitting above a thick ice layer from the mid-January thaw. New snow is drifted and redistributed by the wind above 1700ft. Hand shears show moderate to easy planar shears within the previous storm snow above the ice. No cracking in the limited amount of steep ridgetop terrain I saw but I'm sure you could find some.

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

Broken skies and light winds at 8:30 am gave way to full overcast, snow, and more light winds by late morning.

Snow surface

POW! Wind redistributed storm snow, soft and great, but a little "upside-down" in places.


Upper snowpack at 2600ft SW aspect: 20-30 cm of 1 finger slab sits above a 10-15cm layer of slightly less dense recent storm snow, all on top of an ice layer. In some places the ice surface is smooth, and in others, it is very rough from roller balls and debris rolling off of trees and steep terrain above. Snow is soft and lovely to ridgetop, but was redistributed by the wind above 1700ft.

Photos & Video
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