Nov 10-12 Olive Hut Trip

Catamount Glacier Purcells

Nick Waggoner , Saturday 13th November, 2021 8:00AM

Access
Forster Creek FSR
20-30cm recent storm snow on the road
We put chains on above 25km and with some effort were able to pilot a RAV4 to within 2km of the summer parking lot/trailhead.
Took 1 hr 45 min to drive in from Radium including chain up

Approach
Coverage is good enough to skin across all the creek crossings down in the meadow, and while it’s still rocky getting to the toe of the catamount, it was easy to navigate on skis.

Glacier
We probed a consistent 115cm of soft snow on the catamount glacier, which by feel wasn’t strong enough to build good bridges across any open crevasse. We had moderate visibility, and with the above and the effects of a hot summer on the ice in mind, we chose to rope up. We walked around an open slot at 11U 31328 10319 and noted a number of visible crevasse on the shoulder of Mt Harmon.

Snowpack
Nov 12
Strong SW winds in the alpine accompanied by rising temps and precip made the top 30cm of snow moist. We observed between 1600-2700m and presume that this continued to ridge top.

Nov 10-11
On planar terrain exposed to the wind, 20cm soft snow overlies old wind board. In spite of consistent moderate-strong SW winds, the ski quality remained great and predictable. In couloirs and more constricted terrain, the wind created more variable conditions, from 40-50cm drifts of recent storm snow to pockets of soft wind slab, areas scoured down to crust, and thin faceted spots. The snow was not reactive to skis, and when the skies opened up, we did not see any evidence of natural activity in the basin.

Nick Waggoner ASG
Matt Cote

Source: Mountain Conditions