Observation: Douglas Island

Location: Fruitbowl

Route & General Observations

Happy New Year! A group of avalanche education students and I dug above Black Bear Chair and again at the base of Fruit Bowl yesterday. Other trained observers dug at various points on the Showboat up track. In general, and like Mike Callahan has suggested, the snowpack is stable, has survived the near biblical rain event and thaw of 12/29 & 30, and is skiing quite well, considering. Snow surface on the lower and mid-mountain was 3-8 cms of light and fresh on only a little chattery of a crust. During our tour we did not observe any whomping, collapsing, or shooting cracks.

Snow height at the base of Black Bear chair was 45cm. Here we found light fresh snow on top of a pencil hard 6cm thick crust with wet grains below to the ground (1700′ on NE aspect, 8deg slope with a CT12 down 12cm, a progressive compression, fracturing below a 6cm crust, ECTX). Snow height at the base of Fruit Bowl was 122cm (2300′ on a NW aspect, 32deg slope), with similar results and snow structure as the base of Black Bear. At both sites, the only reactive layer fractured below the crust, 10-12 cms from the surface, without propagation.

Special thanks the CAAC and their board. We appreciate you.

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

Visibility to mountain summit.

Snow surface

Light and fresh.


Wet snow, a thickening melt freeze crust 6cms down, and near boot top blower on top.