Elk Mtn

tandrewschissler

Skied to (and from) 1580m sub-peak of Elk via short gentle section of NE ridge followed by open N-facing trees and cutblocks. Overcast day with fluctuating visibility deteriorating to whiteout conditions on descent. Temps to zero degrees near treeline, light SE winds w/ mod gusts, some snow transport observed at ridge crest. No signs of recent natural avalanches including in steep leeward terrain at treeline. A 40-degree N facing open test slope at ~1100m produced sloughing of storm snow but no cracking or slab behaviour. A few wind slabs tested on road cuts cracked and slid, but did not propagate beyond ski tips in width. Wind slabs seen on lee side of NE ridge at treeline were dutifully left alone. A thin temp/solar crust had formed yesterday over the recent storm snow and was present to ~1100m. Above this, very enjoyable heavy powder was skied on the ridge and glades. Cutblock skiing was hampered by whiteout. Test profile at 1294m, N aspect, 13:30, open trees, 26 degree slope. Light snow and light SE wind. HS 270cm 0-10 F 10-25 4f 25-35 1f 35-50 4f 50-80 1f 80-95 p (crust) 95-105 1f (old wet crust) - it's possible this layer is what's being observed as facets in other areas. It appears to be a decomposing crust. Zero reactivity in this test profile. below 105 - consolidated dense storm snow with crusts CTM 19 down 35 PC CTH 30 down 80 PC CTM 16 down 35 PC CTH 24 down 80 PC Snowpack and avy summary - new snow bonding well with no test profile or slope evidence of storm slab instability. Care was taken with wind slabs. PWL was not observed to be weak in this area.

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

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN