Ski Conditions

Ski Conditions

We drove up to Parker's Ridge yesterday (November 20) and skied a few lines.

The main hazard we encountered were large, fairly sensitive cornices. We were able to easily trigger (one kick) a couple of large moderately stiff chunks - about a cubic metre of cornice so probably about 300 kg. This provided a good slope test though and we did not trigger any slabs on the 35 degree, wind affected slope below (north aspect, 2400 m).

Other than cornices our major concern was the possibility of wind slabs in the recent storm snow, which would not bond well to the hard melt-freeze crust which is now buried anywhere from 10-50+ cm down. However, ski cutting and cornice drops did not indicate the presence of wind slabs and did not show deeper instabilities either.

That said, the melt freeze crust buried last week is a significant layer. This crust is 3-20 cm thick and is hard enough that it carries a rider over most obstacles. It is buried by 10-50+ cm of recent storm snow. Any sort of slab forming in the storm snow could well be reactive due to the hardness differential between the crust and the storm snow. Although it did not seem to be an issue for us yesterday, this crust interface will almost certainly become an issue later in the winter when it starts faceting.

There is 50+ cm of snow at road level, which rapidly gets deeper as you gain elevation with about 90 cm at the upper extent of treeline. In the alpine the snow distribution is highly variable, 0-200+ cm. Conditions in the Bow Summit area looked to be similar, but any terrain below 2000 m (e.g. east of Bow Lake and west of Bow Summit) did not seem to have enough snow to provide easy travel on skis.

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.