Observation: Douglas Island

Location: Fruit Bowl

Route & General Observations

We skinned up towards Fruit Bowl to assess new snow instabilities and the persistent layer buried below the end of year melt-freeze crust. In the area where we dug the new snow was less consolidated and hadn’t formed a storm slab. The deeper layer ultimately propagated in our tests. We chose to avoid wind loaded areas and utilized safe travel techniques through the day. There was about 1.5ft of new snow total from the storm.

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

Isolated areas where new snow was failing over the old snow.

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

Obscured skies with snowfall throughout the day. Light south winds gusting moderate. Temperatures in the mid-low twenties.

Snow surface

About 18" of new snow total from the storm. Found less signs of wind in this area.


At 2,200' on the NE-aspect total snow depth was around 200cm. We used the extended column test to look for propagation in the new snow and got a non-propagating results of ECTN3 down 15cm and ECTN23 down 40cm. Then we used the propagation saw test to target a layer of facets below the end of year crust. It was buried over a meter deep. This produced a propagating test result of PST 25/115 End down 115cm. The faceted weak layer that failed looked sugary and rotten.

Photos & Video
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