The January 30 interface is setting up to be a problematic layer for the foreseeable future. In the Valkyr Range, it varies from surface hoar, to facets, to a melt freeze crust.
Currently, 15-30cm of recent low density storm snow overlies this layer. This storm snow is highly reactive to skier traffic at tree line and below. What has impressed me is the propagation of the extremely soft slabs I’ve ski cut in the past couple of days.
The elevation band I’ve observed it to be most problematic is 2000-1600m. While we may be in a poor stability, low consequence scenario right now, things are due to change shortly.
With the incoming precipitation and warming temperatures, a more cohesive slab will develop and will result in higher consequence avalanches.
I’ll be stepping back and seeking some of that great Kootenay tree skiing for the time being.