Thursday, December 10, 2009

new snow

okay, it has warmed up a bit and is snowing as i write.  the patrol is getting close to getting some more runs open, and have indeed opened the entire backside.  lower mountain is a bit low on snow, but the varied crusts have somehow formed a firm layer that you can stay on top of.  still not sure how this layer will present itself thru the winter.  some thoughts are it will break down with the weight of new snow and because there is still some thermal radiation coming up from the ground.  i am not overly optimistic about this thought process.  any ideas out there you avy guys? 

first fraebert as predicted, had as many people there as were on the hill for the day.  i got up there for an afternoon hike up and ski down big ravine.  an unknown skier was observed skiing ed's, and claimed it to be GREAT!  big ravine was fine, and certainly could be ready with some more lower mountain snow.  but man, was it cold.  even hiking, with multiple layers, we had trouble staying warm.  the usual issues.  extremities.  but the dogs loved it, and going up from above chair three kept us completely away from the public, (except for the unknown skier), and therefore we took the dogs. not for much longer though.  and the dogs got cold too. 

fraebert was fun as usual.  and a great winner, though i missed his name.  he did the job of gettting the beer down though, a good start to another fun year both on and around the hill, and at the stube. 


  1. Ok, I got in. Congrats on the Blog- I am impressed with your patience! Now for my second try at this.

    First and foremost, thoughts out to family and friends of Guy Lacelle who died in a tragic avalanche while ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon earlier today (12/10). This happened during the first day of the Ice Breaker ice climbing festival- how sad.

    For us, looks like we are finally going to get our first shot of significant snowfall in quite some time...

    With that said, it is super important for anyone reading this to realize the stability associated with the CRAP snow conditions we have right now is equally as crappy... With new snow falling and more on the way, it would be my strong recommendation to avoid any avalanche prone terrain- for quite some time... If it looks like good skiing- there is a good chance there is a slab sitting ontop of the shit basal snowpack (facets, ice crusts, sporadic surface hoar, and more facets... This slab will be tender- and if it is sitting there, it will likely be triggered easily.

    Weight of new snow will not improve these conditions... The best we can hope for is a widespread natural avalanche cycle that goes to the ground and at least gets rid of some of the crust interface layers... Remember though, even if a slope slides, the remaining facets can be reloaded to avalanche once again. It is my opinion these tricky conditions will be something to contend with for the rest of the season.

    So, my thoughts- If heading into the Backcountry, please pull the reins back, be conservative, aware of where you are, and respectful of increasingly avalanche prone conditions- ALL ASPECTS.