Monday, January 11, 2010

Good skiing along the west side John Steven's Memorial Highway, somewhere between Ouzel Peak and Mount Baptise.

No recent natural avalanche activity, did get one small slab to pull out while putting the uptrack in. Two people had to jump several times to get it to release, 40*, NE aspect.

We anticipated finding wind affected conditions from the much talked about Jan 5 NE wind event, but as you can see... The storm from Jan 1-4 came in from the west and dropped about 35cms with light winds, loading lee slopes with a extra few cms. The light NE wind and flurries on the 5th added and an additional 10cms of light density snow. In the alpine(7000'+) the snow depth was more evenly distributed most likely the winds were a bit more of a factor on pushing things back and fourth, 40cms was about the avg.

Over all storm snow depths varied from 20 - 60cms. Skied all aspects and elevations from 4400' - 7500'. Encountered a slight inversion with a slight temp/rime crust between 6100'- 6500', a suncrust was also evident in a few places.

Had two collapses on southwest facing slopes, after several people made a run. We didn't see any natural avalanche activity, nor experience any other signs of instability.

Here was our main concern... Surface Hoar from the Christmas Holiday Season was still well preserved, but it was inconsistent on where you would find it and with the developing slab on top of it, it kept you thinking. On some protected northerly aspects you could easily dig down with your hand and find it and others not. It was a bit more tricky on southerly aspects, you could still find it easily on shaded and sheltered terrain but on open terrain it had been beaten down a bit by the sun but was still there.

As the top 20 - 60cms settles out and forms a stiffer slab it may be harder to trigger a slide but the likelyhood is still there, and the surface hoar won't be going away anytime soon.

1 comment:

  1. Nice job Brad. The photos are great!!!! There is a lot a variability out there throughout the region. Looks like a great day. The more info we can put together the better off we will all be. ~ Greg