Merry Christmas from EVI

It’s Christmas madness here in the valley. As I sit writing this, a visiting family is playing in the snow drifts below my second story window. Two kids are grabbing chunks of large icicles that have fallen from my roof and rollIng around the snow. Another kid, along with the Dad, are chucking snowballs at the remaining six foot skewers as the two others play underneath. They are oblivious to the Darwin award they are about to win. Ah yes, Christmas. There’s a metaphor here somewhere for EV travelers.

Had a chance to get out to to Tfalls on Saturday and dig a pit on a 35 degree NE facing slope by the entrance to the chute. Found very shallow conditions 80 cms, defined by two major layers. Settling denser storm snow on top of the typical Colorado basal facet layer, with two buried surface hoar layers in between. The loose facets underneath the recent storm snow have the stability of table salt. Two column tests were CT 15 and CT 17 with a Q2 shear on both. Hard to really qualify the shear as it was more of a crumble than anything else. Reports of lower pockets in trees pulling out in Racquette Club and Bighorn chutes as the basal facets give way under the weight of riders, especially lower down where the snowpack gets extremely shallow. Definitely calming down avalanche wise later in the week as the couple feet has time to settle. The snowpack isn’t nearly as reactive as earlier in the week, but lurking wind slabs and shallow spots by rocks and trees still provide areas of concern for trigger points especially N through E aspects.
Also noticed surface hoar formation, two to three millimeter as Saturday was humid calm and warmer. Sunday was colder and a few inches of new covered the surface hoar. Something to watch with more snow in the forecast.
The big news of course is the EV avalanche video that has gone viral and made it to CNN. Lucky for them the snowpack was shallow, later in the season it would of been a full burial. Interesting enough, Adam and I skied left Abe’s first thing that morning in the middle of the storm cycle, skiers right of the slidepath and had minor movement in the main choke.
Really nothing out of the ordinary for EV as far as the snowpack and early season avi cycles, the change is that technology is now allowing everyone to witness the game that is played out there, good or bad.
Sunday afternoon was a nice break from the busy opening week of EV. Bluebird, sparkling snow and noone out in the zone. A chance to take a breath, enjoy a solo lap in the forgotten trees and get ready for the reset and the interesting stories it will bring. Say tuned.

Tags: , , , , ,

5 responses to “Merry Christmas from EVI”

  1. Stew says :

    yeah, Marty. glad to see you back. Stew here. we skied a mellow mushroom lap after i saw you and it was exactly as expected, fun and deep. i definitely experienced some collapsing on the lower 1/3 of the line while waiting for Tom & Taylor.

    honestly i wish EV access would remain as it was in the early season, as the climb up china wall and pretty mandatory skin kept most people away that don’t belong up there. perhaps i am preaching to the choir…

    • martineast says :

      Thanks man, its good to be back.Yeah I completely agree, it would be better if it remained backcountry access instead of sidecountry craziness. As soon as the poma starts running, it’s gonna be a shit show, but hey you might make it onto the Today show….

  2. JJ says :

    Martin, I have been following your blog for a while now and have skied vail all my life. I haven’t ventured outside the gates except miller cliffs. How does a denver guy get a local to show him the ropes out in east vail? I want to learn .

    • martineast says :

      Thanks for the interest in the site, I appreciate it. If you are looking to get into EV, get the gear and take a level 1 avi class. It’s really the basics. Then start with a mushroom bowl and move on from there. Keep in touch and let me know your progress with that.

  3. bluebirdbomber says :

    Back in the wheel house I see! New Years Howdy from JH. Took a long sabbatical to get my bearings up here but looking to keep you guys in the loop on what’s shaking in the Tetons. GTNP, JHMR, Teton Pass… Trip to Revelstoke next month and who knows? Maybe another trip to the big dance in AK. Marty, glad to see you back at the helm. Miss shredding with you guys, have a safe season and let’s get in touch soon!


%d bloggers like this: