Ski Conditions

7 photos

Spearhead Conditions

Spearhead Glacier

Ski Conditions

Took advantage of the clear weather today to check out the alpine conditions behind Blackcomb and do some early season training with Javier Munoz Santos. We completed a circuit past circle lake and around the Spearhead Glacier, exiting via East Col and Blackcomb Glacier.

Yesterday’s high freezing level left a thin 2-15mm crust on the surface at all elevations and aspects traveled. This ranged from passable skiing to tricky breakable crust where slightly thicker. This crust overlies 25cms of previous storm snow, which sits on top of last week’s rain event crust (Dec 5th) which is 10-20cms thick. The snow is faceting above this crust. There is new Surface Hoar from 2-5mm in size growing on the surface/crust, which could become a very weak interface once buried. We did not see any evidence of recently buried Surface Hoar in our few isolated tests today. By the afternoon solar aspects were moist with the warm temps and solar input, and will now have a new sun crust.

We did not see any new avalanche activity.

All of the glaciers observed today are still very open, and have receded significantly with crevasses in places I have not seen before. The Spearhead Glacier down from guides notch and Spearhead shoulder in particular are both quite broken with many thinly bridged crevasses. Height of snow on Spearhead Glacier is 90 to 150cm, and will likely need at least a metre more before really being skiable. See the photos attached for reference.

Overall it’s still very early season conditions so be patient, and if you do head out remember to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Dave Cote (SG) & Javier Munoz Santos (ASG)

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.