The ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide exam spent the last 3 days skiing around Yoho National Park and Rogers Pass.
The recent wind event from last weekend significantly impacted the alpine and treeline elevations in both regions. Surfaces ranged from very firm, to breakable on all aspects in the alpine and into treeline. The best quality skiing of our 3 field days was found below 1900m where we found facetted powder in the Rockies, and low density powder at the Pass. Around 10-15 cm of snow that fell at the Pass 2 days ago and now covers the old wind surfaces and wind slab.
Our primary avalanche concern continues to be wind slabs found in the alpine and open treeline on all aspects. Although the problem has improved this week, sudden planer test results and the possibility of human triggering had us remaining cautious in steep, convex shaped terrain. This prevented us from skiing committing lines in immediate ridge top lees and cross loaded terrain features on Mt Field on Tuesday in the Rockies, and also on the Asulkan Glacier in the Rogers Pass today. The Jan 24th Persistent Slab was found down 60-100 cm and was unreactive in test profiles. No new avalanches were observed during the 3 days. We found generally good coverage on the glaciers consistently probing 320+ cm of snow above 2300m.
Assistant Ski Guide candidates
Jesse de Montigny – ACMG Mountain Guide