One way of determining the risk of avalanche in any given spot is to dig pits and look for telltale signs of weak layers, such as so-called depth hoar
and surface hoar--freezer-burn-like frost that occurs when snow vaporizes and recrystallizes.
7 Grainy, sugarlike depth hoar
crystals will slide and take all the above layers with them if their weak bonds break apart.
The molecules rearrange themselves to form sugarlike granides, called depth hoar
crystals, which are not cohesive--they don't stick together.