What Are Snow Donuts?

While Mike Stanford was doing some avalanche control work on Washington Pass in the North Cascades recently, he came across something he’d only seen one other time in thirty years of snow removal work.

Snow Donuts

For Snow Donuts (sometimes called Snow Rollers) to appear, there have to be some unique circumstances. Usually a steep incline that causes wet dense snow that has fallen or gathered on top of a hard crust of snow to slowly break away. The snow then rolls up on itself as it travels down the mountain or hillside. Most often, snow donuts eventually cave in on themselves before they get to the bottom. It is rather unusual for them to stay intact.

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