French Haig Robertson

bdpiche

Suffered through some F-off cold in the morning to put in the skin track to the FHR, looked like it hadn’t seen anyone in the better part of a week with the ‘old’ skin track disappearing at the first crossing of French Creek. 10-20 cm of soft fresh snow up to the French Moraine, where it quickly became satstrugi and rock hard. Didn’t need ski crampons and definitely didn’t set any records (maybe number of puffy pants carried but not worn?) -29 at parking lot and -9 at French Col but sun was packing a punch. Numerous avalanches observed that appeared to be relatively new, particularly a 1.5-2 at the Robertson col. We had looked at coming in high from Haig and holding our elevation but the slope to the col was spooky to say the least. Fresh 5cm wind slab immediately overtop of a sun crust. Bailed off that idea and went and took a look at the Avvy. Ended up boot packing directly up the slope that had Avvyd on a layer of snice and rock, with one puckery move wallowing to the main col. Don’t think you could pay me to boot pack the normal route based on what had slid and the drum sounds coming off of it and the sun that has been hammering it daily. Skiing down Robertson was quite poor, sastrugi mixed with breakable windslabb down to the creek. Snow at the creek was actually great and soft, but essentially just made us have to work harder to get out as no angle to work at that point. Snowshoers have hammered the main track out of burstall so less slidey than anticipated but back before headlamps so technically not an epic..

Snow conditions were: Hard, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Cold, Warm. We rode: Alpine slopes. Riding quality was terrible.

Avalache Conditions: Rapid temperature rise to near zero degrees or wet surface snow. Slab avalanches today or yesterday. Whumpfing or drum-like sounds or shooting cracks.

Weather

Only windy at French and Robertson col. Otherwise calm all day. Beauty out really.

Avalanche

Rather unnerving Avvy immediately left of main bootpack to Robertson col (see photo) essentially down to bed. Main bootpack looked primed for same result so avoided and went way left. Numerous loose drys noted throughout the day

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN