Perfect and terrible all at once

Sea To Sky

mblandford95 , Saturday 17th February, 2024 6:50PM

On thursday we rode shudder glacier. On the way from east col to drop our camp gear in Wedge Creek we found awful wind hammered conditions with a great many whumpfing hard slabs with cracks frequently shooting as far as 30m. On a small slope above Circle Lake, I triggered a slab that propagated uphill while traversing a small slope (Sz1 but it only ran a few meters due to the low slope angle.) The whole decker area looked similarly terrible. To our surprise, we found pristine unconsolidated powder with minimal wind effect on the skier's right side of tremor glacier, and shudder glacier from top to bottom was phenomenal. Shudder had a great many open crevasses and we roped up twice during our descent. Friday morning we skinned back up tremor from Wedge Creek and found a changing environment with the wind moving to the east. Both tremor and shudder had formed snow dunes making for variable skiing. This wind formed some fresh and reactive hard slabs around terrain features in the alpine, causing more whumpfs, shooting cracks, and some small remotely triggered avalanches as we made our way up the undulating east face of Mt Alex Philip from shudder glacier. We were rewarded with some more perfect unconsolidated powder in the north bowls of Alex Philip. We all agreed that when in the wind hammered terrain the avalanche risk felt higher than moderate to us. We found the hard slabs to be VERY touchy and widespread (one of the crew caused a slab to whumpf and shoot cracks by poking it with a ski pole). But on the upside, if you can find soft snow the riding quality is excellent and we felt comfortable skiing steeper slopes. Glaciers have lots of open crevasses and saggy bridges, we roped up in multiple places, so be prepared to rope up or turn around, don't ski what you can't see.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN