Up to the pass on Friday. Overnight the wind was howling. On the avalanche report the next day we read that it had reached 140kmh. I'd believe it; the snapping of the flags at the Visitor Centre sounded like rapid fire gun shots.
No permits again on Saturday morning so we decided to stay in the Connaught Drainage rather than driving back to the Bostock or Asulkan trailheads. Ideally we would have skied up towards Ursus or Bruins or something but we were wary of crossing all of the avalanche run outs. Instead the four of us (Nick, Fred, and us two) started by climbing up the Cheops ridge and then skiing down the Hour Glass. We then crossed over the creek and did a run on Grizzly Shoulder. After that it was still early so we scurried across the Grizzly slide path and had a run in the Teddy Bear Trees. When all was said and done we'd climbed over 1600 meters on the day. That's a lot for us.
The snow was good but not fantastic. Overall there was about 70cm of new snow. At higher elevations this was on top of a lurking crust that would occasionally send the unwary telemarker head-over-heels. At lower elevations the new snow was lying on top of the hoar frost layer we've been hearing so much about. On the mellow terrain below the hour glass, where it had been exposed to the wind, the snow had compressed into a slab. We saw shooting cracks that traveled for 30 or 40 meters as the snow settled with a loud "whumph". We were able to trigger small remote sloughs too. Fun stuff.
As I write this on Tuesday the forecast is again calling for freezing levels to reach mountain top this week. Man, what a weird season it's been.
Fred amongst the shooting cracks.
I like this one of Fred.
Conditions Update Apr 11 2017
2 weeks ago