Observation: Summit

Location: Fresno Ridge

Route & General Observations

Today we toured up to treeline on Fresno Ridge. We had good light and great skiing all day. The only signs of unstable snow was propagation in a quarter of the pits and an avalanche off Colorado Ridge.

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

In the evening we noticed a fresh R1D2 avalanche off Colorado on a NE aspect at about 3500 feet. It looked like it was a slab in the near-surface layers. We found no other signs of instability on test slopes, ski tests, ski pole probing or feel underfoot.

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

Mostly cloudy, moderate N wind above treeline, temperature in the high 20's

Snow surface

Smooth new snow. The snow was damp with some roller balls up to about 1600 feet, then dry powder above. Great skiing!


We dug pits on a variety of aspects between 2000 and 2300 feet. In the lower pits we found a surface hoar layer near the base that did not propagate in ECT tests, but resulted in a PST 40/100 End. At higher elevations the snowpack was about 130cm deep. At 50cm height we found facets around a crust that had ECTP hard in about a quarter of pits.

Photos & Video
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