2/28/12 Big Mountain Starfish/EV Trip Report and Black Flag Warning.
By writing this blog, I’ve given up the idea that EV is my personal space. People other than those I know, know about this area and will be out there at the same time I am. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a local’s only rant. The caveat is in my experience that almost every time, no matter how many people are milling about the Top of the World, I can easily find solitude and my own space if I put a little effort into it.
Today was a bit of a reversal. With J and I heading out into the tardy but increasingly powerful storm this late morning we seemed to be on track to have EV to ourselves. I did notice on the way out on the Ghengis catwalk another backcountry traveler, masked in a full face helmet, speeding down through a lightly covered, tracked Sugar Mountain. I watched him beeline toward the catwalk. not seeing the two small compressions that lead out of the small face. He skipped off the first, cased the second and starfished onto the catwalk. Ouch.
I’ve done that exact same thing once or twice in my years and it hurts more than you want to let on. You pick yourself and ski limp to the lift. Dust off the snow on your pack, dig the snow out of your face and tell yourself the concussion you just gave yourself is a mild one. Then, continue on like nothing happened. Big Mountain Starfish, I feel your pain. We ended up behind him on the lift.
Big Mountain Starfish post holed while skinned, a tough day on the lower hike as the wind slab was variable in density and thickness. Boot punching through wind slab world looked miserable. BMS tried to find the boot track, but couldn’t. He gave up and fell behind in our skin track. We left him behind as we skinned into low visibility, high winds and heavy horizontal snow.
J and I took our time up top, enjoying the hostile weather and the rawness of it all. It gave BMS a chance to catch up, making up ground on the scoured, groomed tail to the top. He hiked directly over to me. Around two feet away, he stopped and launched into an intense first run report on Tweeners. It took me by surprise. I listened and got a few syllables in every now and then. He was amped on the small wind slab that broke around him at the top of Tweeners first run and he was going back for more. The wind slab was just a couple of inches around 11 am as the storm was just getting going. I got in that Tweeners was also our destination when he stopped to breathe.
Suddenly, he ended the report, clicked into his skis and was off. He, a blur. I, a little shell-shocked. It was truly amazing, one person made EV feel crowded on the unlikeliest of days. EVI note to Big Mountain Starfish. If a group breaks trail, gets to the top first, and is geared up and headed to the same run as you are, unwritten etiquette says offer it the crew that did the work. J sat silent through the whole ordeal staring in disbelief at the full-face whirlwind.
I shook off the enigma of BMS, wondered if it was just a snow mirage. EV was just starting to fill in at 11 am. We skied four or five nice new inches in Tweeners below the ridge out of the winds, the snow fresh and light. We skied fast smooth north trees in boot deep, watching the snow come down bit by bit erasing the wind events scour. We at least had the bus stop to ourselves.
EV Black Flag Warning:
High winds and heavy snow still at 9 pm. Got a report from DPS that Tweeners was filled in again and reactive around three pm. Spiderweb cracking and wind slab release in the upper scarp of Tweeners, not at critical depth at the time. Tomorrow it will be. All sorts of different layers are lurking underneath this new storm snow. Old bed surface, east facing suncrust and upper north facing rock hard wind slab just to name a few. The variables are many and with a couple of feet of wind load on top, it could be a significant avalanche cycle.
Interested, as always, what will go down tomorrow in EV.
2/26/12 Strip Club
Headed out into the moonscape of the scoured world. Wind event 2012 is in full swing and EV is not immune. One look at the Gore Range says it all. Mountains bathed in white a few days ago are stripped bare, the precious contents transferred to Nebraska. Flagging on the peaks yesterday was huge, clouds of snow pluming off anything above 10000 feet. Really a sense of deja vu, the Poma hike scoured, the anti-tracks of travelers past sticking out in relief, exposed by the winds. It reminded me of early December conditions. DPS and I headed out just to see what the results of the wind, not expecting any phenomenal skiing. There has really been no periods of consistency with weather or snow this year and everyday seems to bring something new.
Not much traffic, no surprise there. Top of the World really wasn’t that bad wind wise, the worst of the event is hopefully over. Snow conditions were variable, meaning I skied seven different kinds of snow during our Tweeners run. Rock hard scarp gave way to thin window pane like wind slab. Old pow in the trees, old pow with a cracker crust in any sun hit lowers out of the wind. East facing sun crust of different variations. It was a snow condition buffet, and I had my plate full. I survival skied the run, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Hanging out with DPS on the ridge, looking around and shooting the shit is always a good time.
The run out to the water tank was the capper. The wind had brought down smaller limbs and pine cones and scattered them like confetti on the run-out. Flying through the luge on a mostly brown carpet with the crunching of the pine cones under the skis capped a strange, otherworldly run in a otherworldly year.
On the ridge we watched Benchie and Old Mans reloading, the plumes of snow cartwheeling into the scarps. The crown in Olds is still visible. The fracture profile looks pretty similar to the slide I set off with the ski cut heard round the world early in the year. Strip on the right side of Old Mans is holding tough.
I’ve chosen a couple of strip runs next to old slide paths this year. These strips of snow have provided good skiing, while mitigating the danger with the old slide path interrupting the open faces. Pow strips have provided this year when we couldn’t step out into the open faces we wanted to ski. Can’t ever remember choosing runs in EV this way during any other year.
East faces are crusted from sun and warm temps. Upper north aspects are cross-loaded or slid out. Lower protected trees are the best skiing at the moment, out of the sun and wind.
Bottom line in EV, we need the reset button pushed in a bad way.
2/24/12 Old Man’s Part 2 Updated
Old Mans ripped sometime Thursday morning direct result of the cross loaded conditions created by the west winds and heavy snow. Wasn’t able to see it yesterday, as I took the advice of the updated message boards at the Poma and stayed away from the heavily loaded north aspects, choosing an east tree line next to a large slab that broke last week and hasn’t reset completely.
It sounded like Old Mans ripped above Poc Rock, on the hard scarp area and stepped down. It ran a good part of its track, wall to wall, into the areas that we consider safe areas to stop. The big question now is what is stopping Benchmark from doing the same? The only difference in terrain is the shrubbery in the middle, but don’t really think that would impede the formation of another wind slab release. Much of the middle, right middle of the bowl hasn’t been skied, and is sitting untouched.
Abe’s is the most popular route through the uppers, besides Tweeners. There is an overall feeling that it is a safe line is due to the amount of people running the left side, but in a fifty year cycle, that is no safe area, especially if it runs to the Tele line run out. Deep slab instabilities in areas not skied or slid are the biggest threats in EV.
EVI Update 2/25/12
Just wanted to update, after seeing for myself what was going on. Got a chance for rare Saturday run with a couple new ski partners. I skied an area that I never have seen, always something new in EV to discover. I got a unique view of benchmark and Old Mans.
Saw that there was definitely a slide in the middle of the bowl, but not nearly the size I heard it was. EVI lesson of the day, don’t believe anything until you see it for yourself. The skier’s right side of the bowl was intact, and the slide in CDC was covered.
Tracks in Abe’s, on the skier’s left side, nothing had moved, the middle of Benchie not skied and definitely wind loaded. The ridge top winds were howling on this blue sky day, and again the run choice out of the wind and in north facing lower trees.
No problems on the east facing traverse highway out of the Benchmark drainage last couple days, an area that I thought might be loaded and suspect. Glad to be wrong on that one.
Wind is the continuing story, as the jet pounds us. Down low the temperatures are warming again and east facing areas are crusting up big time in EV.
2/22/12 Gluttony and the Reset Button 2/23/12
Out in to the 11 inch day at Vail yesterday on my day off. Skied inbounds for a couple nice runs and then headed out to see the conditions in EV. We seem to have avoided the big winds predicted for Wednesday and the new snow was accompanied by warm temps and layered in the resort like spackle. After waiting for openings, the sounds of bombs filling the air, we headed up the Poma. Took notice of the ski patrol bomb holes on the way out. No significant movement from any of the charges on the steep east face above the catwalk, just some isolated cracking around the blast holes. Looking around at the other black marks in China and Blus Sky and again, no activity.
The last three days I’ve been poking, prodding and stomping around, looking for evidence of instability with the recent winds and then the 11 inches that turned into a foot and a half in EV. We started our day in Tweeners, taking the opportunity to break small burgeoning cornice chunks along the way. As with the previous days, nothing. Some minor shedding of the upper wind affected scarp areas, but theses natural slab breaks were tiny and only ran a few feet.
The skiing in Tweeners was again accompanied by no movement whatsoever. No sluffing and no slab release in the upper concave wind affected face. The lower triangle face held again and we were off into the trees to enjoy some deep freshness. So far so good.
Second run we decided to get back to the Old Man. Old Man’s had sat unskied for a few days. With the ridge top winds, this was going to put our observations to the test. We spent a good fifteen minutes taking turns trundling stove sized cornice chunks down into the scarp area. We made a mess of things in the upper entrance, but completely necessary to see if anything would step down into the rollover faces that ran last week. Again watched the chunks impact and explode, with no results.
Stepped into the right side, J leading the charge and sent it. Watch as his tracks laced the right side again with no movement, sluffing cracking or slab release of any kind. Luke and I followed one at a time, meeting up at a safe area in the right tree stand. We all kind of looked at eachother. Holy shit, a day of deep snow and moderate stability. I couldn’t believe it either. Looking up, we could see that the second rollover face was still not filled in completely from last week and shark fins protruded from the thin snow. No visible naturals anywhere we could see. Spacklefest was on.
The factors?. I don’t claim to know why this was possible, but the dense wet snow, warm temps and little wind helped. The weak layers are still down there in the pack but at least today they were dormant.
Third run Luke and I had EV to ourselves and took out time to enjoy a lenghty skin. We took a slow boat out to our favorite actual East Vail Chute and took time digging a pit and doing some CT tests. We should have a video of the CT results and a brief gratuitous pow video to view soon. Again, the snow was deep and unreactive. Skiing pow without having to dodge bullets every turn was a nice change, if only for a day. We got out of EV finally around 5 pm. We were powder gluttons for sure, and our cup runneth over today. A whole large pizza then sleep.
Woke up, muscles tired and groggy. Looked out the window to see that reset button has been pushed again. Another four inches and dumping at 7 am, with the winds up and no visibility. Not assuming anything about snow today as weather conditions are drastically different. Start at square one with the progression of runs and snow assessment again. Headed out to see what is going on in the ever-changing world of EV Looks like second season is on and the storms are starting to track our way. Let you know.
2/21/12 Throwback Day EV Trip Report
Howling ridge top winds today had me thinking of severe wind slabs. Anything North facing and open had to be severely crossloaded in the upper areas due to the north westerly winds gusting at times over 40 mph. Temperatures were warmer by ten degrees from the previous day. Headed out into the whiteout to the Top of the World where no one one was. Grey, windy and spooky, it was a throwback day in EV.
Continued the Tweeners excursions as visibility was almost nothing and it offered the sneak through the wind loaded upper areas. Traversing across the ridge to Tweeners, the hollow drummy sound of hard wind slab let me know that Benchie and Old Mans open areas were not to be trifled with today.
Matt and Peter caught up with me later after my run to let me know they had a windslab rip on a ski cut in the left side of Abe’s. Thanks for the info, confirmation of the wind slab issue. These young guns are part of the next generation of EV skiers that will be out there long after I’ve headed to the elepphant graveyard of powder skiers, Edwards. I appreciate them taking the time to be involved. If this site gives the up and comers out there any useful info that helps keep them safe, it is a success in my eyes.
Spent some time trundling person sized chunks of wind slab at the top of the skier’s right side of Benchie. No cornice on the roll, so I could do this. Watched as the wind slab chunks hit the incline and snow density change in the middle of the bowl, looking for propagation into the middle areas and over the cliffs into the flats. It can be an indicator of what is going on below the firm upper scarp areas in both Benchmark and Old man’s, where the snow softens and the angle eases. No reaction to the hard slab chunk explosions.
Moved over to Tweeners and did the same, taking advantage of the lack of the cornice to stomp around a bit. Again nothing moving after the initial slide for life the chunks did. Skied it with no activity, again no sluffing on the run, or cracking up top in the wind exposed entrance. Pleasant surprise.
The world below the ridgeline was completely different. Calm wind, relatively light new accumulation( a few inches) and skiing boot deep fresh powder on a supportive base. Stayed on the ridge line all the way to the end.
The face below Tweeners is notorious for sliding. Facing slightly NE, it tends to get crusts with the sunhit, then covered by storm snow. When instability is bad, this triangle face can let you know. Didn’t spend more a than a few seconds on the face, felt the crust at times underneath the varying depths of new snow. Again, much to my surprise, it held with out so much as a sluff through the run.
Had the world to myself, enjoyed the solitude in the Forgotten Trees with some fine pow skiing. Watching the snow stack up on the deck as the next system moves through(four inches at 9:45 of the fluff at EV base)Day off tomorrow should get back to the pits and multiple runs.
EVI Retraction/Report 2/20/12
Our first official retraction. It was bound to happen. I swore off Tweeners, but today I cracked. Faced with the snow(although not the 39 inches in Steamboat) and increasing winds overnight, potential for wind slabs and stories emerging about tragic, multi fatality accidents like the one at Stevens Pass had me eating my words and standing down from anything open and wind loaded.
Although the accident happened two thousand miles away, the account resonates with every backcountry traveler. The world we hang out in is actually a small one. Experienced and using safe zones used for years. Scary. 100, 500 year cycles? Not even the most snow savy traveler can predict the end result when forces collide and all the variables line up for a huge avalanche cycles measured in centuries, not decades. We humans on our sliding sticks are capable of some entertaining things in these areas, but we are not in control.
Headed up solo first thing, got past the masses and ended up behind only DPS and J, no surprise there. Nice to hang out with some long time friends up top with no one else around.
About six new in EV, but of course the prevailing north winds filled in areas deeper. Left Abe’s for the crew behind us and skied Tweeners.
Three tracks in and not really even a sluff. The only sign of any slide activity was a small natural in Old Man’s at the point where the slide ripped last Wednesday, the new snow not holding on the old bed surface. We were the first out so not sure what went down afterwards with more traffic. Find out tomorrow.
Had a nice day in the trees and let the Old Man be.
2/16/12 Hey Buddy/West Wall Revisit
Saw a two guys I recognized from yesterday at the Pitkin stop again today. Geared up, waiting for the bus and ready for battle in EV. MFD all-time/ Pontoons and his buddy mid-fat Atomics/ Naxos (the worst AT binding of all-time, sent myself to VVMC on those things). Asked them about yesterday, what they saw and such. Just interested in their observations from a big cycle day.
Didn’t think anything of it until I got to the bus stop after my lap. Saw MFD Pontoons standing alone. Said hey and inquired about the whereabouts of mid -fat Atomic. MFD said that his buddy kicked off and lost a ski. He was now alone in the Racquet Club chute. I asked him, matter-of – fact, why he wasn’t he with him? The answer.
MFD said that mid-fat didn’t know where he was exactly in the chute, but MFD had a good idea where he was. He was in touch by cell phone and was going to go around, find him then render aid.(Really?)
MFD said Mid-fat knew from yesterday that his bindings were “loose”, and he should’ve cranked them down, but ignored his advice. (punishment for using Naxos?)
Loaded the bus and sat watching MFD render aid by text.
When it hits the fan, who do you know that you can trust to keep their head and help you? How do you know? Solo missions might get a bad rap, but is it better than having a useless partner? Finding able partners isn’t the easiest thing, and might not be the buddy who is leading you into EV. No easy answer.
Went to check out the West Wall slide from yesterday. My personal powder hunting tempered by the recent events. Hit the ridge on a beautiful sparkling morning, with a couple of inches of fresh again as the snow cycle remnants moved through. Not many people out.
Checked out the track in the skier’s right side of the Wall that was put down by the skier who triggered the slide. He skied the first gully skier’s right in the Wall where you can sneak through through cliff band with minimal/ no air. A small sluff on the line, but that seemed to not relate to the actual avalanche. The actual slide was remotely triggered 75 feet to the skier’s left of the track towards the middle of the bowl. The crown was a foot to two feet deep.
Dug a pit on the 25 degree lead in to the roll over in the middle of the Wall, above the small, butried rock band that lines the top. Representative of the E aspect, but not the incline, as the face below the band rolls into the thirties at least and gets more sun than where I was going to dig. Heres what I saw.
Air temp: 3 C
Surface temp: 3 C
0-60 cms: 3mm facets/ fist –
60-70cms: melt/freeze crust/ pencil
70-80 cms: .5 mm facets(coulmns?) fist –
80-145 cms : .5 mm sintered rounds/ 4 finger
145-160 cms: .5 to 1mm stellars (new snow)/fist –
Thick crust with small, loose facets above the crust, below the dense, sintered old storm snow. Significant temp gradient around the crust.
Did a couple CT tests.
Here’s what I saw.
First column: CT-12 at 65cms Q1. Ran on the facets above the MF crust.
Second column: CT-2 Q2 at 35 cms. This column ended up next to an evergreen shrub. Broke within the depth hoar. Interesting the crust was knife hard around the shrub area.
Filled in my pit and headed out to the bus on a Tele Line ridge run. No obvious new activity.
Another Mushroom burial/injury on 2/16, not sure of all the details. Heard that the Kitchen was the place of the first accident a couple of days ago, not sure the exact location of this one, but Mushie strikes again.
2/15/12 Carnival De EV
EVI note: Info is still coming in from yesterday, so the post has changed some, trying hard to report all objective info, sorry for any confusion and thanks to those helping us clarify the events.
Bluebird powder day in EV. Overnight storm loaded up the zone with a significant amount of snow, variable amounts, knee-deep and above in certain places. BID(Blown in Deep) is the technical term. Headed off the grid for the first run with Luke and stayed clear of the procession headed up to Benchie. A ton of hungry pow hounds were out early and the carnival was on.
Came back around to the top for our second run to see how the combination of the rapidly warming deep fresh snow and the mass of skiers interacted. They didn’t play well together. West Wall slid, skier triggered from the skier’s right side almost wall to wall , below the first set of small rocks that line the top. Had a friend see it go down. A skier skiing a ribbon of blower powder before a large avalanche followed him down, a sympathetic release from a small slab the skier kicked off during his run. I can’t make this stuff up. New warming snow interface on the crust that happens in the West Wall with the east facing sun hit and warm temps probably was the culprit. Find out tommorow.
Tracks in left side of Benchmark, but debris running past the first flats from the gully left of Mushroom Rock. Another sign of skier triggered instability.
Tele Line had tracks but no activity that I could see.
The capper was Old Man’s. Looked over the edge of the entrance to see a track leading into the each of the first two gullies left of the tree line. Below, a significant debris pile ran beneath them into the flats and no obvious tracks out. Shit.
Headed down right ridgeline and found where we could safely enter and do a search of a majority of the lower debris pile. Probably happened first thing in the morning, but wanted to make sure we didn’t leave someone out there before we headed out. Cleared the debris with Luke and thankfully found no signals. Then we got the hell out of there.
The crown was deepest on the skier’s left side of the second rollover gully by the small cliff, three to four feet of soft slab. It extended into the middle of the bowl. CDC had a small slab release of its’ own under the cliff band.
As far as I know nobody was hurt today, but the potential was there. Here’s what we saw.
EVI, Be My Valentine…
What better a day to grab that powder loving guy or gal and take them out to EV to get the love juices flowing? The overcast to broken skies with S-1 light snowfall and blending from light to calm winds ((L) 1-16 mph) didn’t deter the most discerning of inamorata/inamorato from blazing up the skin track to the top of Benchie and dropping in to profess their passion for the goods with some fine pow turns and periodic wails of pleasure and ecstasy. On the “Danger Rose” (oooh that’s sexy) one could profess that the “dangerous love” was at least considerable on the NW-S facing aspects… Those not blinded by the considerable chance at some likely “rough lovin” could get their moderately risky business done on the W & SW facing slopes. Tracks abound and no shame (recent debaucherous activity) in sight… the powder lovers were painting their affection all over the big white fluffy canvass with big S-Turns abound. Only a few dysfunctional examples of tracks seen hitting the top drops off Old Man’s, traversing skier left over the first cliffs in Old’s then directly over to the northern cliffs two-thirds the way down the open +35 degree avg. aspect, the prominent CDC cliff band. Not sure that relationship is really going to last, but one could conjecture that love makes some behave in some very incredibly peculiar ways.
Linked up with Marty, the legendary wing-man himself, to not only get our powder fix of the day, but to also put a cross hair on our beloved snowpack and shoot it straight in the heart. We sought to identify a deadly problem that has been plaguing some unfortunate riders recently. We’ve all seen the recent reports of the very gruesome reciprocation that the star-crossed snowpack has taken out on members of the BC riding community. The trend of doom has been below treeline in some very precarious terrain traps and that is where some more careful examination is due. From the “hasty” and not so hasty test pits of the season, it’s about lovin time we drop some SWAG on this very problem. Freshly and stalely outfitted with the latest in snow-nerd standards, we figured it’s about time to throw down and get neck deep in the business. What is the problem that we are dealing with? In short, deep persistent weak layers releasing the majority of the top of the snow pack on an interface between the buried depth hoar and the upper “cake” layer of the good stuff. So let the intricate romance with our naughty snowpack begin… (this would be way more bad-ass with snowpilot, but whatever).
2/14/2012 @ 2:30pm on Forgotten Trees with an elev. 10,200-10,400 (estimated from topo).
Small clearing in trees on N-facing Aspect below treeline of 30 degrees.
Sky: Fluctuating from broken to overcast. Wind: Calm to Light. Temp Air: -6.5 deg C. Precip: Very Light (S-1).
Boot Pen: Balls Deep, Yeah, that’s what she said… Type: Profile Pit. Temp Surface @ 150cm: -6.5 deg. C
No Red Flags besides the low-moderate obvious wind loading of leeward aspects.
<150 DF’s (decomp & frag. precip particles) 1.5mm F+ -6.5 deg. C
140 DF’s (decomposing & frag. precip part.) 1.5mm F+ -6.0 deg. C
130 DF’s (decomposing & frag. precip part.) 1.5mm F -6.0 deg. C
120 FCsf (near surface faceted particles) 1-2mm F -5.5 deg. C
110 FCxr (Rounding Faceted Particles) 1.0mm F -5.0 deg. C
100 RG’s (Rounded Grains) 0.5-1.0mm F -4.5 deg. C
90 RG’s (Rounded Grains) 1.0mm <95cm 4F -4.0 deg. C
80 RG’s (Rounded Grains) 1.0mm 4F -3.5 deg. C
70 RG’s (Rounded Grains) 1.0mm 4F -3.0 deg. C
60 DH (Depth Hoar) 3.0mm <60cm F+ -2.5 deg. C
50 DH (Depth Hoar) 3.0mm F+ -2.0 deg. C
40 DH (Depth Hoar) 3.0mm F+ -2.0 deg. C
30 DH (Depth Hoar) 3.0mm F+ -1.5 deg. C
20 DH (Depth Hoar) 3.0mm F+ -1.0 deg. C
10 DH (Depth Hoar) 3.0mm F+ -1.0 deg. C
Did a very nice ECT (Extended Column Test) 30cm deep X 90cm wide X to 120cm deep from surface, back cut out.
Results yielded: ECT23Q3(PC)… the whole 150cm down to 60cm collapsed on the interface (if you can remember the December surface hoar produced by endless clear days and cold clear nights) ~60-63cm is where the ECT collapsed but did not shear. This indicated a collapse and even propagation, but no sudden planar or resistant planar shear @ 30 deg. So that would put us at ECTP23. Read from that what you will… in leymans’ that’s a deep persistent weak layer that will propagate distances, collapse and cause instability in the snowpack, hence, most aspects on the CAIC Rose being rated as considerable. Watch out for higher angle slopes that will cause the upper layer to collapse as well as shear and slide.
That’s all the snow-geek and SWAGger I got for ya! hopefully you were suave and savvy enough to get your significant other’s adrenaline and love potion pumping with you’re superior shredability out in EV today. If you didn’t here’s some snow porn to help you thru tomorrow… but remember, never trust a hoar, no matter how deep you bury it (Whammy!).
2/12/12 5 Second Rule/ Trip Report
Headed up to see the after effects of a big Saturday. Like heading into a trashed frat house after the cops come, the area was deserted and littered(with tracks, not Old Style beer cans) . Fully expecting to see some slide remnants in the bowls, but the reports of a slide in Benchie were just spray. Forty or so tracks in plain view. Plenty of snow testers exploring all aspects. Maybe a small fracture on skiers’ left side of Benchie, but nothing real significant and hard to tell as the area was laced with tracks on top of the possible remnants.
Greybird day and temperatures finally cooling off with the incoming front. No recent movement in Old Man’s, the right side stamped with tracks and a few poking into the first gully skier’s left of shrubbercross alley.
Took full advantage of the stability and headed left middle gully for the first time all year. One might even call it a, gasp, SKI CUT!!! Just kidding, can’t help myself. The snow was settled and surfy, no movement at all the run. Still some reef in the roll over gullies, but finally getting covered.
Some advice. 5 second rule. If you are going to delve into the middle of any open areas, you need to be able to ski your line all at once, with speed, without stopping on the cliff bands. Otherwise don’t bother. CMHing through these areas will get you pounded.
Headed out to the ridge and saw two small(30 ft wide) slab pockets had ripped on the lower skier’s right side of the West Wall. These were small shallow areas with no propagation or run distance (50 ft), an effect of the recent new snow on the sun baked east facing West Wall giving way.
Found good snow in the Forgotten Trees, shaded north facing, it provided good knee-deep pow skiing. Hit the lower cliff band in the trees and fractured a 20 foot circle of snow. Just collapsed, didn’t run but stopped me dead in my tracks. Time to look around and enjoy the solitude of the moment and the light snow starting to fall in the trees.
Found an undisturbed tree pocket next door to my landing to do a quick CT test and snow profile. 38 degrees, north facing, untouched. Perfect. Again not too much difference in the snow profile from other recent pits. 10 cms of fresh snow of 55 cms of slighlty denser old storm snow. At the bottom the less than fist density 3 mm facets still there to the ground.
105 cms total depth, -3 C air temp, -1C snow surface temp. CT column results were a little different from a couple of days ago.
CT-2 Q1 at 95 cms. Old snow/new snow interface, just the top fluff.
CT-17 Q3 at 35 cms. Again within the 3mm facets, but ragged and uneven.
Only did a single column, so no back up for the results. Just lots and lots of tracks. Lots.