Ski Conditions

Conditions for the week of Mar 23-28 Spearhead/Duffey

Coast Range - Duffey and Spearhead Range

Ski Conditions

The ACMG Training and Assessment program just wrapped up a Ski Guide Certificate exam in the south coast region. Below is what the group found for the week:

The week began at the end of a high pressure ridge with dry and warm Alpine temps into the teens. Cooling and more Seasonal temps returned with highs around 0°. Convective spring squalls. at times intense, and Light to strong southerly flows were common. Some solar input and green-housing was evident toward the later half of the week. Snowfall amounts varied locally and was drainage dependent with storm amounts between 15-25cm total from the week.

Spearhead range Recent storm totals from March 27/28 were up to 30cm in the ALP. Natural loose dry from steep terrain as well as skier triggered size 1s were observed. Recent storm snow was bonding well to old surfaces, and isolated wind effect in lee terrain. Feb 1 Cr/Fc layer unreactive down 115-170 but will remain a concern with more input. Mar 22 is also a Melt Freeze crust on all solar aspects and lower elevation north slopes from the warm weather previous to the week. In the Duffey 10-15cm storm snow forming windslabs in the ALP. 4F overlies F snow on top of the March 22 MFcr. Feb 2 MFcr/Fc layer down 150-200cm.

Travel conditions were generally rugged below treeline with marginal forest cover and spring diurnal conditions utilizing ski crampons on firm surfaces. We found access by FSR or ski lifts eased the difficulties of forest travel.

Light amounts of new snow throughout the week improved surface conditions. Dust on crust conditions and old avalanche debris exist on solar aspects while shaded aspects above 1800 m remained dry with good skiing. Glaciers are probing 2-3m of snow and are well bridged but show many open crevasses and sags. Recent winds have also created isolated pockets of wind slabs in alpine terrain.

There is plenty of enjoyable skiing and riding to be had, especially in higher elevation shady terrain - just find the easiest way to get to those high places!

Kendra Hicks
Shep Howatt
Dave Graham
Zoe Ryan
Teresa Yau
Jake Foster
Hayden Buck
Bram Whillock
Brock Freathy
Kirsten Knetchel
Evan Stevens

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.