Narao slide path

Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park

Briony Williamson , Monday 16th March, 2020 6:30PM

Wind slab and wind affect galore out there today. Skinned up the lookers right of the Narao slide path 3k up the O’Hara road Bottom of the path felt promising but as we ascended snow conditions got worse Middle band (probably 1800m ish) was just turning to facets. Punch through with poles straight to ground without any effort. Thin snowpack around 120cm mid way up when we gave it a probe. Higher up was wind affected or wind slab, also in the trees and increasing in thickness higher up. Got above treeline and very scoured above, rocks and thin snowpack with a hard wind affect layer on top. Thought we would try to wrap around and ski the trees down but didn’t want to cross the thin hard upper section so decided to just ski the crap back down where we came up. Sunny and warm, to about +4 at the car when we finished (started -10). Noticed a small debris pile / start of a slide that didn’t run far at the top lookers right of the slide path. Assume wind loaded lip that failed. Don’t waste your time going up here unless you want to practice your wind affect and crust skiing!

Snow conditions were: Crusty, Hard, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Warm, Sunny. We rode: Open trees. We avoided: Steep slopes, Convex slopes. Riding quality was terrible.


Rapid warming from -10 to +4 in 3hrs

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN