With a strong aroma of wood-burning stoves and an Artic chill in the air, it seems as if winter is finally here! After a relatively dry start to the season we are now starting to see a series of low pressure storms and precipitation make their way through and across the state. Along with it came a cold Artic air. With clear skies in the forecast today we chose a zone, grabbed out gear and headed out for some fresh fun. Cheers and thanks Greg for some awesome pics today!
Mostly clear throughout the day but winds howled with gusts of +60mph. The architect at work.
Then we made it to our zone. Especially with all the wind-loading we made sure to assess the new snow and stay somewhat cautious. We dug a small pit and did a few hand sheers in the lower slope and didn't find anything too reactive. We then did a first lap in the gully on the left of the below picture. Feeling good in the gully I decided to ski the main face in the pic. A bit steeper but we both talked it over and decided on me giving her a go. Second turn in and I initiated a small slide R1D1 on this NE face. Shortly after, Greg dropped the gully again and we assessed from there. We both decided to hike up and take a closer look at the slide. The slide was a soft 30cm windslab of new snow that slid on a pencil hard 5cm thick old Fall crust. The slope angle was about 36-38 degrees. While we somewhat expected that this might happen, we both felt the risks weren't that high if it did. It was a good indicator of how the wind has helped the new snow bond poorly to the old North facing Fall crusts.
After that we decided to keep it low angle the rest of the day. We ended up heading up higher to the summit bench and skied a couple more low angle lines before finishing off with one last ski down the first gully. A super windy day but it feels good to be in the doorway of winter!!
Next bout of snow is due to make its was through here tomorrow!!