Wildhorse - Weak snowpack

South Rockies

Eddie Petryshen , Thursday 12th March, 2020 12:20PM

Snowpack does not inspire confidence in my opinion. The West side of the Southern Rockies region has been generally weaker than usual and not sure the snowpack has healed. Numerous crusts and facet layers on east and north aspects. This snowpack may share a similar problem to the Sparwood and Elkford area (deep hard to predict persistent slabs). The particular alpine bowl that we elected not to ski went full path and blew out new timber on December 26th so some areas may be shallow and rocky with little snow. Did not ski any steep alpine slopes as crust with facets layer with 40 cm of storm snow did not inspire confidence. Great skiing in low angle terrain - fast and flowy powder Large relatively recent estimated size 2.5 avalanche on southeast alpine face (Slide Creek). Ran for 700 m or so (2450 to 1750m). Sorry no photos as my phone battery died. Started in a deposit zone 100 metres below summit. Strong early afternoon solar radiation and could have been triggered by a cornice fall. Intense wind gusts blowing around tons of snow. Wind was depositing snow on south and west aspects (ie opposite of typical lee features).

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

Avalache Conditions: Whumpfing or drum-like sounds or shooting cracks.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN