120126 Conditions Report
Spent a half day on log cabin, weather conditions were great, broken skies, approx. -11C and winds were light from the South. 10-20cms of soft slab overlies a hard wind slab. This wind slab was not as prominent at treeline in Log Cabin as we have seen it further up White Pass but was supportive and stiff in the Alpine.
We observed easy hand shears in the soft slab at treeline, down 20 and 40cms. Additional stability tests produced easy results (CTE) in the soft slab and Moderate (CTM) in the facets below our wind slab, both layers “Popped”. Ski Cuts on lee features in alpine produced no results, other than good skiing!(see attached photo)
Our primary travel concern continues to be the soft slab over top of our hard wind slab. Things to watch out for are an additional load of snow, rising temperatures and wind over tomorrow and into the weekend. One or a combination of these could turn the powder into a more cohesive slab.
Our secondary concern is the layers of facets bellow the widespread hard wind slab. This wind slab will be an issue on steep unsupported terrain. Hard slabs are commonly triggered from below or in shallow areas where it is less bridged or less developed.
Clues to look out for in the field? Shooting cracks at the ski tips, hollowness feeling under the slab. When breaking trail, is the sides of the trail collapsing behind your skis or is it sharp, clean walls? Clean walls indicate a harder slab development.
Collectively we called today’s hazard at Log cabin; Alpine-Moderate, Treeline-Moderate and Below Treeline-Low. However, keep a careful watch on the weather moving into the weekend and expect the hazard to rise if we receive significant winds, new snow and warming.
Happy Skiing! Its good out there!
Justin, Eirik and Ilya
Eirik enjoy some nice alpine turns on the cabin.
Ilya shredding down log cabin on thursday.
February 2nd, 2012
Eirik and I travelled into the Mt. Montana area today, just South of Carcross. We travelled up into the alpine where we experienced strong southerly winds (steady 50km/h, gusting 90km/h) that were sublimating any remaining snow left for transport. -5 C was recorded at 1500m and a balmy +1C at Carcross townsite. No precip and skies were broken at times throughout the day.
The snow distribution in this area could be described as barren, wind-scoured and highly-variable. Where snow exists, a shallow facetted snowpack dominates, with a 10cm hard supportive windslab overlies a rotten mid-pack of facets, broken by more facets and depth hoar on the basal layer. The height of snow in the alpine ranges 80-100cms.
At Treeline, 10cms of soft slab overlies a harder wind slab but not supportive to human weight in more sheltered areas. Again, facets dominate below these layers to ground. The soft slab produced moderate hand shears and was reactive to the weight of a sled. (really????)
Anyone know if Wiarton Willy saw his shadow today in Whitehorse?