Observation: Douglas Island

Location: Ready Bullion, South Douglas

Route & General Observations

Snow machine access to Ready Bullion drainage (Nevada Creek). Isolated wind slabs from recent N winds. Snow surface range from fully scoured to older MLK hard crust to freezing rain crust underlaid by facets, to wind slab underlaid by facets. Take home is that winds have resulted in very spatially variable snow which will greatly determine what kind of stability we end up with next. For now the wind slab noted in this obs is the main avalanche problem.

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.
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried?0
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Events of the day

Thanks to Alan Gordon for sharing the info and most of the photos and video to share. I flew over and captured the aerial photos.

Snow machine trigger of the wind slab pocket. (AMu-R2D2-O; artificially triggered by snow machine (unintentional), relative size 2, destructive size 2, within old snow)
Rider rode up the slope in the center without triggering initially but upon descending on the edge where the slab is thinner the wind slab was triggered (see video).

Rescue events

Airbag deployed proactively; no rescue needed.

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

Recent wind loading (but also lots of down slope scouring makes it hard to determine where the wind slabs are intact).

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

No recent new snow. Prior wind loading. Cold temps; no thaw.

Snow surface



Wide ranging from wind blasted hard melt freeze to firm wind slab, to freezing rain crust with facets below.

Photos & Video
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