Helen Creek - Cirque Peak North Bowl Tour
Cirque Peak North Bowl
Spent another beauty day in the mountains skiing up Helen Creek drainage, up to the Cirque Peak col and down the North Bowl. Temperatures ranged from -18 deg. C at roadside to a high of -8 deg. C during the warmest part of the day. Clear skies and calm with the exception of localized Venturi effect at the col at 2700m.
Fast travel up Helen creek trail past Helen lake with easy trail breaking (0 to 10 cm ski penetration).
Snow depths varied from 50 cm to over 1.5 m at higher elevations. Lots of wind effect in the alpine with non-reactive soft to hard slabs over the November 5th rain crust sitting 20-40 cm of the ground at all elevations travelled. Cirque Peak south ridge is completely stripped on snow curtesy of high to extreme SW W winds from earlier in the week.
Skiing down the north bowl was acceptable (if you are training for a mid December guide's exam) with ski quality improving as we lost elevation. Best skiing was in the lower angle terrain approaching Cirque / Observation drainage.
Lots of old cornice triggered avalanche debris from last storm cycle of steep North aspect slopes above North Bowl.
Exit out of Observation Sub Peak drainage was surprisingly good with the usual enchanted forest adventure on a supportive snowpack.
We have not run into any other groups despite what seemed like over a hundred vehicles between Mosquito Creek and Bow Summit.