Avalanche: Douglas Island

Location: Sunny Side

Route & General Observations

Dropped into sunny side from the top of Ben Stewart. Skied the gully that’s skiers right in the sunny side bowl. There were naturally released wind slabs all over sunny side.
Would avoid southerly, exposed aspects until the recently formed wind slabs stabilize.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Hard Slab
Aspect SouthElevation 2700ft
Slope Angle 38degCrown Depth 6in
Width 150ftVertical Run 250ft
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried?0
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Avalanche Details

Wind slab that fractured and caused a 2nd larger fracture on its way down. 1st skier of the group. Skier kicked off the initial fracture, was able to ski to safety without being knocked off his feet.

Events of the day

Group was looking for sunshine on a cold windy day. Group was aware of the recent weather (3 days of strong northerly winds) and had discussed that wind slabs would be the biggest concern of the day and that's exactly what caused the avalanche. Group member shared they had kicked off a smaller, similar wind slab on Hogsback the day before.
A small slide was also set off while skinning out of sunny side. Same southerly, wind loaded aspect.

Rescue events


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

Rapid wind loading for the past 3 days.

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

Cold, clear, windy. 3 days of strong northerly winds after the area picked up 8ish inches of dry, light snow earlier in the week

Snow surface

Varied-Wind scoured to chalky to soft wind blown snow

Photos & Video
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