I went out for a romp in the Southern Valhallas today and was pleasantly impressed with the conditions.
Above 1650m the ski quality was great for November 8; of course early season conditions existed, and there were plenty of hazards to avoid, such as open creeks, blow down, rocks etc. However the snowpack was reasonably supportive, there’s was a stiffer layer (1F-, FC/DF) down ~30-40cm, that carried skier traffic quite well. Above that was 30-40cm of blower pow (F). The snowpack was for the most part, progressively resistant; albeit an immature snowpack. Foot penetration was typically ~70cm in sheltered areas.
Ski quality was high between 2200m and 1800m.
The height of snow increased steadily from 15cm at 1000m to ~90cm at 1650m and between 1650-2500m varied from 90-120cm. Some exposed ridge features were scoured to ground.
In the alpine, the recent storm snow had been redistributed by westerly winds, scouring exposed areas and loading lee features. During the morning today, a 4cm 4F- melt freeze crust developed on ESE-SE sheltered features to 2200m.
There was minimal recent avalanche activity observed and was limited to a few size 1 sloughs in the recent storm snow in terrain over 35 degrees.
Nice to see winter’s off to a good start in the Valhallas!