Avalanche Conditions

4 photos

Avalanche Conditions

Spent 4 days basecamped over New Years in Mystery Creek.

15cm fell in the afternoon of the 29th with another 20cm overnight with wind. The next day blue skies opened up for us and the snow skied excellently.

Signs of avalanches that had occurred in the storm indicated a storm weakness up to size 2 but things bonded rapidly in the following few days. No other slab avalanche occurrences were witnessed other than those that occurred in the storm in wind loaded areas

Wind affect in the alpine presented some slabs but with reluctance to slide and lower down or in sheltered areas low density snow was more likely to sluff in steep terrain.

We covered extensive terrain from below treeline to high alpine and all aspects. Glaciers in that area were well filled in and the snowpack is at about 200cm at treeline. Foot penetration was to the waist and ski penetration ranged from 60cm in lower elevations to 20cm where wind affected.

On the last day, heightened freezing levels produced pinwheeling with the sun on southern aspects and most surface snow is now likely moist and somewhat 'upside down'

We dug on a high alpine south slope (on Mt Currie) to test the November Facet layer which sat down 65cm in a 110cm deep test pit. It produced moderate sudden collapse Compression Test results on well-developed facets between two laminate crusts but was unable to fail or to propagate in an Extended Column Test. On closer examination the layer has mixed polycrystals and sheared unevenly but this layer will need re-examination with time.

Have fun out there!

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.