Drew Lyness , Saturday 27th March, 2021 7:55PM
Went for a long walk to take a look at a steep north facing line in the Paddy Peak area. Encountered just about everything on the way in, including sun crust & strange pockets of isolated crust on bottomless facets low down on north aspects. For the most part there is lots of dry powder out there on - ski penentration 20-30cm on north aspects. Flurries continued most of the day - up to S2 before noon - and we definitely didn't get the clearing trend we'd been expecting. Zero wind and very little visibility - but just enough of a sucker hole to drag us all the way back to Paddy. Temperatures started at -5 but did hit 0 around midday and there was a warm greenhouse effect in the alpine with bright sun poking through heavy cloud cover and no wind. Our steep north facing line was hard to get up into- we'd anticipated a more consolidated base but found bottomless wallowing on the boot pack, briefly switching to a somewhat more supportive base in the couloir itself, but it was still slow going. About a third of the way up we started noticing pockets of thin unreactive windslab, which quickly turned into reactive warm slab / wind slab as we climbed. This slab was 40cm deep, 4f harness, overlayed an old decomposing crust and was reactive to skis. We aborted at 1800m & skiied down carefully followed by a concerning amount of sluff in this steep exposed terrain. Natural loose dry sluffing was seen too. A line for another day. The ski out was fun powder in open trees.
Snow conditions were: Deep powder, Heavy. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Warm. We rode: Alpine slopes, Mellow slopes, Open trees, Steep slopes. We avoided: Convex slopes. Riding quality was good.
Avalache Conditions: Whumpfing or drum-like sounds or shooting cracks.