Ski Conditions

Ski Conditions

I guided the Spearhead Traverse from Feb 19-21. We did it in reverse and started on Whistler Mt due to limited visibility and increasing avalanche hazard. Our expectations where then based primarily around skiing just in the Overlord Glacier area, but on the 20th we got lucky and the clouds cleared and the snow stabilized. We skied around to Blackcomb in up to 40cm of new snow. There was plenty of evidence of last week’s warm moist storm. Many of the higher ridges where rimmed and quite icy, and there were numerous older large slides. Last weeks moist snow seems well bonded to older previous surfaces. The new snow did not avalanche after the morning of the 20th

There are a couple of changes on the route:
The notch below Overlord Peak on the Overlord Glacier looks quite rocky. Much like two seasons ago when many parties lowered or rapped through. We skied up the glacier on the NW side of the ridge.

The Col between the Ripsaw Glacier and the Naden Glacier was very rocky and not skiable. I decided to not use the usual rock/snow rib (decent route for most parties) up from the Naden route in favour of gully 80m to the E. This route was exposed/icy enough to warrant a rope for my group’s ascent. There may be another option to the west.

On the Ripsaw G (north)l side of the ridge there are three crevasses that are in line with the high ski traverse line which many parties use to access the Col. These crevasses/shrunds (about 50-150m NW of the Col) where barely open and hard to see, and I could still see blue ice. I suggest not trying to directly side hill into the Col this season. At least not yet!

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.