Lake O'Hara - Schaffer Ridge & McArthur Area
We spent the last few days (March 18th-21st) skiing out of the Elizabeth Parker Hut on an ACC BIWOC Intro to Powder trip. We skied the lower sections of Schaffer Ridge and Bowl, toured into McArthur Pass and Lake, and venture down the head of the McArthur Creek Drainage.
Over these days, we had mild temperatures (5 to -10 degrees) and convective flurries bringing in 5cm of new snow. Moderate variable winds were observed with ridgetop winds predominately from the SW. We observed a few Size 1 loose dry releases off the E facing steep rocky slopes of Little Odaray and an old blown in Size 2 wind slab on a SW slope of Mt. Huber.
We dug 2 test pits:
- One was at 2200m, NE facing, 28 degree slope, and height of snow was 230cm. We had repeatable compression test moderate results with resistant planar fracture character, found roughly down 35cm on stellar snow crystals size 2. We also had a Rutschblock score of 6 on the same layer with most of the block releasing. We had fist and 4 finger snow above this stellar layer and well settled snow below.
- The second pit was at 2100m and on a SW facing slope. 25cm of fist snow over 25cm of 4 finger snow with facets below this. The snowpack was significantly weaker and punchy on this aspect.
We traveled in conservative terrain and gave solar facing slopes respect, especially with the warming temperatures. Stay safe out there.