Tuesday, February 14, 2012

typical february

this is what i would call a typical february for NW Mt, with a very untypical caviat. a decent base of snow in the mountains, with decent skiing conditions, increasing day length to the extent that we are now noticing it in both the am and pm, and some but not much new snow falling.
the caviat? well, there remains very little valley snow, okay, basically none. the snow cover in most of our access points to the backcountry is limited, making approaches difficult to shitty.

temps have never been cold this year, and we are fast approaching the time of year where it is not too likely to see anything below zero. oh sure, it can happen, but just not as likely.

so, feb. is a good time to tour and make plans for spring trips, or to make early sojourns to the SW desert for some early season riding. and hope that March brings back the La Nina effect that has mostly avoided us this year.

in the meantime, backcountry conditions are okay, but not great. snow on southern facing aspects, even up high, has an buried suncrust that may effect your skiing, and could turn into a dangerous layer with some more snow on it. north facing aspects are in great condition, and seem very stable, but i did kick off a tiny 2" fracture, about 20 feet wide on sunday. a bit unnerved after the recent death in the Jewel as i saw a small crack begin to spread, i moved quickly to my right, only to laugh at myself at the infintesimal size. better safe, right?

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