Weak layers that continue to produce avalanches for several days or weeks after a storm.

Certain weak layers tend to stabilize quickly after a storm while other kinds of weak layers take much longer to stabilize. The three most notorious persistent weak layer include: faceted snow, depth hoar and surface hoar. As you can imagine, persistent weak layers cause most avalanche accidents because the avalanche danger can linger several days after a storm, just waiting for a trigger.

The presence of a persistent weak layer, alone, doesn’t necessarily mean danger. But If a buried, persistent weak layer also produces unstable test results or has caused recent avalanche activity, you should definitely avoid avalanche terrain where those conditions exist.