Steve Holeczi and I had a good early season ski day on Little Crowfoot peak. Although the snowpack is thin, the Nov. 5th rain crust is very supportive and allows for good travel at lower elevations. The snowpack was 20-35 cm at 1950m at Bow Lake rising to 50-70 cms at treeline and variable from 10-100 cms in the alpine on the glacier. The moraines below the glacier are quite boney as is normal for that area, but overall decent coverage for November.
The Nov. 5th crust fades out above 2400m in this area and the most difficult skiing of the day was between 2400m and 2600m where the snowpack is still quite thin and facetted but doesn’t have a crust to help support you off the ground. Travel in the canyon was good with only a couple dubious creek crossings that we were able to negotiate with skis on.
A snow pit at 2750 m showed a 95 cm snowpack with a few moderate to hard resistant planar shears in the top 50 cm.
I’m sure this crust will come back to haunt us later this winter but for now it’s allowing for some reasonable travel on a pretty thin snowpack. Beautiful sunny day to be in the mountains.
Ian Jackson & Steve Holeczi
ACMG Mountain Guides
Banff, Yoho & Kootenay Visitor Safety