Lake Louise Area
Just wrapped up a 3 day ski guide exam in the Rockies based out of Lake Louise. The groups skied a variety of objectives on the 93N and around the Divide. The areas visited were Cirque peak/Observation Sub peak, Mount Olive, Mount Hector and Popes peak/Mount Niblock.
We had generally unsettled weather as a series of storms worked through the region. Strong winds redistributed any snow that was available for transport in the alpine. On Wednesday the freezing level rose to 2500m. There was no new snow during the 3 day period.
There are variable wind affected surfaces in the alpine, from scouring in exposed areas and hard slab/ sastrugi in other areas. High freezing levels and intense sun cooked the surface snow everywhere except North facing slopes in the Alpine. The persistent weak layers mentioned in the bulletin were easily found in the snowpack but we did not observe any activity on these layers.
There was evidence of a previous avalanche cycle, with old debris observed from cornice fall and steep wind loaded terrain features. The ongoing moderate to strong SW winds built windslab in immediate lee features that were reactive only in steep unsupported areas. On Wednesday with high FLs, small loose wet avalanches were observed from steep solar slopes.
Firm travel! boot and ski crampons were used on most days. Sheltered high North slopes still held softish snow. Wind scouring left many moraines, ridges and even sections of glacier(Mt Hector!) bare.