Bell Couloir

Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park

Haas , Friday 8th April, 2022 5:00PM

Overall good stability and good riding conditions in the North Couloir. Conditions deteriorated below 2200m, but I would suspect alpine conditions to ride well this weekend on non-solar aspects in wind protected features.

Riding quality was good.

Snowpack

Moderate freeze at TH (1500m), but that quickly turned isothermal by 1700m all the way to the lake at 2000m. No sign of old tracks across the lake, with dense and moist settled powder with the lightest m/f crust on top to about 2200m on N/NE aspects. Above that it was all dense settled powder to the ridge-line. Sporadic pockets of wind/sluff slab that were resistant to failure in handshears throughout the middle of the couloir was the only concern on ascent. Plenty of spindrift coming off the walls wasn't amounting to much. No notable avalanche activity today. Skiing produced moderate speed/low volume sluffing within recent HST. Overall moderate hazard in this zone at all elevations with caution for Wind Slab in alpine terrain or Loose Wet at or below treeline.

Weather

Mostly overcast with brief periods of broken cloud cover by the time we exited the field at 2pm. At the top, ridge-line wind speeds were moderate with stronger gusts out of the SW, plenty of blowing snow up high but limited slab formation by mid day in the couloir. AM TH temps hovered around 1*c and held steady as we gained elevation. Car was reading 10*c when we got back at 2pm, then dropped to 2*c as the frontal passage came through on the drive home. S-1 precip for most of the day with periods of S1, mostly graupel. Luckily no rain by the time we made it back to the car but on the drive home brief period of rain that quickly turned to snow with the FROPA. Minimal solar input today.