Snow rollers are pretty, but dangerous

As skiers and snowboarders take to the slopes of Mount Hood, it’s important to know the warning signs of an avalanche

Snow rollers roll down a hill

Photo by Yellowstone National Park

While this “snow roller” looks like a whimsical sculpture straight out of Whoville (or a giant frosted donut), this meteorological phenomenon actually signals a heightened risk of avalanche. Often in the shape of a disk or ball, they form when the surface grows wet + the bond holding the snow together weakens.

With the holidays fast approaching, many Portlanders will be heading to the mountains to ski + snowboard, so it’s important to know how to enjoy the slopes safely. It may be tempting to stop and take a few photos, but it’s best to just keep moving.

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