We had a few different groups out in the Spearhead range over the weekend. In general backcountry skiing seems to on for the season...with a few caveates.
• Best skiing is found on smooth alpine and treeline features. (Musical bumps)
• Familiarity of what the ground cover looks like will help you choose those areas (hope you went climbing this summer)
• Glaciers are good for skiing except they present a big hazard. Glacier are more broken than normal with minimal new snow coverage.
• Hitting rocks. Yup, don’t mount your new skis yet.
• Glaciers, with the thin snowpack and the recent warm summer glaciers are far more broken than normal with minimal coverage.
• Thin, weak snowpack presenting a ongoing stability concern with this new incoming snow!
All in all, awesome backcountry skiing can be found with previous terrain knowledge, and a thoughtful approach. However, saying that this year will require a far more different approach than other years. Making conscious decision about the impact of the current snowpack and not falling into the trap of how we have typically used terrain at this time of year in the past.
IFMGA Mountain Guide