Boom Mountain, Kootenay Park
Headed up to look at terrain on the East aspect of Boom Mountain with a group from Calgary. On the approach, trail breaking when not on existing skin tracks was heinous with frequent episodes of crashing to ground in weak depth hoar and facets. At just past noon we observed a natural size 2 avalanche on steep terrain on the east face that started at about 2500m. Could not discern from a distance if it was a slab or loose dry. Took a conservative line to the edge of one of the slide paths. While spaced out 20m apart on some more supportive snow we had a whumpf that propagated well over 100m of terrain from the first to the last person in the group. The combination of natural activity and huge propagation potential had us turning tail and not pursuing any further up track. If Clint Eastwood had asked me if I felt lucky, I would have said, “nope.”
During the day the height of snow varied from 80 to 120cm in an essentially entirely faceted snowpack. We dug at our high spot and had easy shears at 10cm, and hard planar shears at 30cm and 80cm. The lower 30cm at this location was well developed depth hoar (fist resistance).
Likely one of the least inspiring snowpacks I’ve seen in a while. The hazard rating was moderate but it felt more like considerable where we were. Played a conservative game today.