Avalanche: Summit

Location: Fresno Ridge

Route & General Observations

Skinned up along ridge line from Manitoba parking lot. Skied east aspect through the trees.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect East
ElevationunknownSlope Angle 30deg
Crown Depth 14inWidth 20ft
Vertical Run 60ft  
Avalanche Details

Slab popped when I jumped over a wind loaded corner. Crown profile (see picture) shows 25 cm of fresh fist hard snow, sitting above 20cm of old near surface facets, above a decomposing rain crust (bed surface), above approximately 40cm of basal facets. Slide was D1 in size, but ran quickly given the short length of the slide path, and several alder anchors.

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)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

A large slide (D2-3), presumably running during the last storm cycle, was seen on east northeast aspect of Colorado Ridge (see picture). Additionally while breaking trail up from the road, I counted around 30 large, propagating collapses. Several of these collapses, we could feel the snowpack slide. A hard ski cut on a convexity produced a shooting crack that ran about 10 meters out from me (see picture).

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

Clear skies, slight east/southest wind (~5km/h), temps ~-10*C

Snow surface

20-30cm of new snow from last weeks storm cycle made for delightful skiing.


Remarkably poor structure... Several informal ski pole column isolations failed while isolating the column. Additionally, while skinning up our ski poles continuously punch through the surface slab(s), through the basal facets, to the ground. Snow Depths ranged from 50 cm(near the road) to 1.2 meters near tree line on the ridge line.

Photos & Video
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