Connaught Creek Ursus Trees area
We toured as high as the strong Easterly winds and poor visibility would allow on Ursus Trees and on treed ribs in Hospital Bowl (2400m). Gusts were quickly filling in the skin track and buffing over yesterday's tracks nicely. But the top 15-20cm was wind affected pretty much everywhere in this low-elevation Alpine terrain and down well into TL. Winds blew right up Connaught Creek creating windslabs in many open areas. For this reason we avoided overhead (as much as one can in Connaught) and stuck to low angle terrain. We did see cracking in the new windslabs which confirmed our need to be aware of steep terrain above us. But despite jumping on a few small rolls these windslabs were unreactive to skier traffic. The winds steadily increased throughout the day and around 1pm we heard a natural avalanche on Cheops but didn't have the visibility to see where it ran or the debris. The cold temps today made the skiing a little slow and the punchy windslabs didn't help. The best skiing was in sheltered trees and even the old tracks had 15-20cm in them. With more cold and wind in the forecast, I'd recommend keeping it conservative for a couple days to let these new windslabs settle out (hopefully). For our part, we stepped it way back from our original plans today.