Ski Conditions

3 photos

Awkward walking up the Asulkan - But Worth It!

Asulkan Valley - Youngs Pk - Rogers Pass

Ski Conditions

Here are some observations from a trip up the Asulkan Valley to Youngs Pk. today.

A strong overnight freeze at the valley bottom prompted me to recall the words of my examiner Rudy Kranabitter way back in April 1983 during my Apprentice Ski Guide exam - "Why wear out your gear on that icy track - if you can walk on it - walk on it!"

So thinking of my new Mohair skins, I did.

If you take a look at the attached photo of the creek side-hill section of the trail, and imagine trying to skin across it when it is frozen hard as a stick (not to mention all the other awkward sections), you may consider packing your skis on your pack as well.

I did initially skate/double pole, skin free up the railway grade as far as the Glacier house ruins before shoulder my skis which I carried to just below the Asulkan hut before switching to skinning.

Once ascending the tree triangle, above the Mousetrap(around 1900m.), I found there was already 10cm of new snow overlying a supportive (on skis anyway) crust. This increased with elevation to @25-30cm on the Youngs Pk. headwall, the underlying crust was present the whole way.

A group of 7 from the Hut put up a track on the headwall and 2 of them look like they headed over to "Forever Young" couloir. Ski quality was excellent with dry snow that transitioned to 5-10cm of smooth shmoo over the still supporting crust at around 1900m. The valley exit had softened just enough without becoming sticky and slow which made for a relaxing return to the trailhead.

Skier traffic initiated some manageable size 1 dry loose that stopped mid slope, there were several previous wet releases within the last 24hours and I wouldn't be surprised if there not more later in the afternoon on steep solar aspects, other than that I didn't note any new avalanche activity while I was in the valley (back at the road by 1:30).

2 other folks headed up the Dome - I didn't see any other traffic.

As usual in the spring, "Timing is everything - next to Location, Location, Location, - which of course is all about Timing"!

Safe travels to all
Scott Davis
ACMG Mountain Guide

On The Map

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.