Zymacord Bowl/Trees. Shames Mountain Backcountry
Heads up hockey sums up today's encounters with the recent buried surface hoar we found while out in the Zymacord Bowl/Trees today off of Shames Mountain. The recent winds, snow and temps have formed a 30-60cm one finger slab over top of the Dec 25th surface hoar layer.
This layer was reactive to skier traffic in the morning as we cautiously attempted a lap in the area. We turned around at the entrance to Zymacord Trees from the Darkside entrance. Every convex roll or steep slope in the area had slide and if it hadn't, it was very easy to trigger this layer with a light load. Several ski cuts while working down a ridge produced healthy size two results. Ski cuts well back of covex rolls even produced avalanches that propagated extensively and ran in 20 degree terrain and continued into steeper terrain.
We left the area immediately after this an on our way up noticed several 1-1.5m crowns over much larger convex rolls that were well out of sight to skied traffic as we skied down (we actually had to stop a party from trigger more hang fire as they skied right towards a crown).
All and all an interesting day from a learning standpoint. I would recommend extreme caution heading into the alpine at this time, specifically on lee aspects and features as the recent weather has setup a rather nasty avalanche problem. A conservative mindset is key during this next while as this layer lingers.
ACMG Ski Guide