Rockies - Crowfoot Mountain
Hi MCR Subscribers,
Today I toured in the moraines below Crowfoot Glades, teaching ski mountaineering skills.
We chose to park in the parking area vice the road because the shoulders are not cleared. When we arrived at the Crowfoot Glacier parking area there was 10cm of new snow. It snowed all day and when we returned to the car 6h later there was an additional 10cm of new. Visibility was poor (less than 1000m). It was surprisingly calm at the parking lot in the morning but picked up throughout the day gusting to strong in the afternoon. Ski penetration breaking trail was up to 50cm, pretty much the entire snowpack. We heard avalanches all day off the steep slopes above us on Crowfoot Mountain.
There were 20+ skiing the Glades today. The skiers we chatted w reported reasonably early season coverage.
Of note, leaving the park area, there is a small 35 degree west facing slope below tree line. Ski cut produced Sz1 soft slab avalanche 20m wide by 20m long 15-40cm deep. The bed surface was a temperature crust just above the ground. With the new loading and wind, the backcountry is going to require thoughtful route planning and terrain selection.