Ski Conditions

3 photos

Variable Conditions

Forever Young/Illecillewaet Glacier

Ski Conditions

We braved the cold yesterday and skied the Forever Young Couloir via the Illecillewaet Glacier. Temperatures were -20 leaving the vehicle but were actually fairly nice up high reaching -11 with calm to light winds and blue skies at 2400m.

Coverage is a little thin up the access to the Illecillewaet and the December 15th PWL was observed releasing on the odd small unsupported feature/pillow below 1800m. The snowpack was also faceted and new surface hoar growth was observed.

Once on the Illecillewaet Glacier, probing showed an HS of anywhere between 140cms to 300cms, with the average being 250+cms along the route that we traveled. There are a few visible and open crevasses around each of the 2 main access points to the glacier and just as I had my probe out to investigate our route closer to Lookout Mountain, another experienced group had their probe out on the lower access point. On the glacier proper, travel was good. The Illecillewaet has managed to preserve snow for the most part and ski quality would have been excellent if we had decided to ski back down the glacier.

Once on the ridge that leads to Young’s Peak, the recent wind effect became obvious with extremely hard snow and icy conditions most of the way to the entrance of the couloir.

The couloir itself was challenging with a breakable crust over hardpack and some ice for the top third, but ski quality gradually improved a bit for the bottom two thirds. The best skiing was on the fan below the couloir.

If you are planning on accessing Young’s Peak from the Illecillewaet side, be prepared for very hard and icy conditions between the couloir and the summit and watch for the cornice off the east side which is in its usually massive state.

Excellent ski quality was found around and below the Asulkan Hut where the wind hasn’t had its way with the recent storm snow.

All in all a fantastic day in the mountains. Conditions are definitely very variable, but there’s a lot of great skiing to be had. With that said, I would keep a close eye on the snowpack as the weather changes over the next few days. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the December 15th layer and what will happen to it as more of a slab forms on top of it.

TJ Neault, Ski Guide

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.