Connaught Creek - Ursus Trees

Glacier National Park

Meshwell Boschmann , Saturday 2nd January, 2021 5:35PM

Went to the Ursus Trees today. Just under 15cm overnight at the trailhead. Cheops North 1 (Lookers left Chromosome) had avalanched SZ 2.5 to the creek last night with debris spread across the whole fan. Frequent Flyer had not slid and we widely spaced out while crossing it. We heard an avalanche running in the Cone/Shelf area at 8:15. No debris visible on the fan of Cheops North 4 (STS) and Cheops North 5. Hand shear on SE aspect at 1800m produced very easy SC down 25cm below upside down storm snow and moderate RP down 45cm on Dec 26 layer. Previous day's skin track up the Ursus Trees had roughly 20cm on it but ski penetration was around 35cm off the old skin track. Skiing down was good but not great given the upside nature of the top 25 cm. Some trenching even while pointing it down and not very many faceshots. Did two laps in the Ursus Trees and skied down Hospital Gully 1. The skiing in this last one was slightly better as it is steeper so we decided to go back up and ski Hospital Gully 2. Few very localized 25cm deep slabs could be ski cut off steep unsupported features. On the ski out, we were very surprised to see a skin track on the looker's left side of the fan of Frequent Flyer with two down tracks right in the middle of it and three more on the looker's right side of it (see pictures). Seriously? If managing avalanche terrain by lapping the fan of a frequent performer in times of high avalanche danger at all elevations seems like a great idea to you, go back to the resort. Enough said.

Snow conditions were: Heavy, Powder. Weather conditions were: Stormy, Windy, Warm, Cloudy. We rode: Convex slopes, Steep slopes, Open trees. We avoided: Alpine slopes. Riding quality was good.

Avalache Conditions: 30cm + of new snow, or significant drifitng, or rain in the last 48 hours. Slab avalanches today or yesterday.

Weather

Light to moderate wind at treeline with intermittent strong gusts.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN