Shooting cracks are a sign of instability in the snowpack. They appear as cracks propagating outwards through the snowpack under the weight of a person or machine. Shooting cracks are indicative of an unstable snowpack, often illustrating the transition of low density surface snow into a consolidating slab. If you see shooting tracks, you should avoid any slopes steep enough to avalanche.
Photo: Shooting cracks propagate from the tips of skis. By Raven Eye Photography