Ski Conditions

still low snowpack, but just enough snow to ski

Rockies - Chickadee Valley, KNP

Ski Conditions

Was in Chickadee Valley on Sunday with a group who were looking to learn more about winter mountain travel. The snowpack there was between 60 and 85cm deep in all the places we travelled and mostly facets. The ski in and out the creek was in OK shape if you went slow and exercised caution, especially on the way out. There are still many places where it would be possible to end up in open water in the creek, or have an uncomfortable tree-hugging experience.

The Nov5 crust was down 45-50cm and breaking down considerably below 2000m. We had no test results of consequence, since all of the old windslabs near the surface are doing a good job of facetting away. The surface hoar (up to 30mm) was coating everything up to 1900m, and also still prevalent in sheltered areas above that, although the wind had blasted most of it above 2000m in exposed areas.

Despite it being +1c at 2000m around noon, and sunny on solar aspects we observed no new or previous avalanche activity on any of the big solar slopes we could see during the day.

Several parties went further up the valley than we did and the travel looked good as far as we could see if you were to give the Chick-a-Boom traverse a try, however the alpine was wind blasted and so I would expect very variable snow cover in exposed places above treeline right now. Skiing above treeline was a diverse mix of soft facetted windslab and hard grabby boiler plate, and I expect that there will be a crust on solar aspects. Early season ski hazards are still very present right now in this valley.

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.