McDermott Hut - 17th-19th *SPOOKY*

Lizard Range and Flathead

katenicolejohnson , Monday 1st March, 2021 8:27PM

Stayed 2 night at McDermott Cabin. Very spooky! Any opening in the trees, no matter how small was touchy. We saw 4 recent slides around treeline, on different aspects. Most slides appeared to be skin track triggered & was releasing on SMALL convexities mid slope. Micro convexities were causing enough strain on the snow to release slides. In the alpine we saw evidence of very obscure winds & touchy wind slabs. We made very conservative decisions and only skied very dense low angled trees.

Snow conditions were: Powder. Weather conditions were: Sunny, Warm. We rode: Dense trees, Mellow slopes. Riding quality was good.

Avalache Conditions: Slab avalanches today or yesterday. Whumpfing or drum-like sounds or shooting cracks.

Snowpack

CTM19 down 36 SP on SH CTH23 down 50 SP on FC

Weather

17th & 18th - few clouds and temps around -5 19 - 20cm fresh low density powder overnight & morning S1 snow continued NO wind all 3 days

Avalanche

Arrived at cabin around noon on the 17th - went for a quick tour in planetary glades, ran into group of two (see their MIN report called "Planetary Glades Uptrack Slide"). As we approached treeline we noticed 2 separate slides, both skier triggered (from skin track), one slide from the group we ran into & the other appeared to be a day or two old. Both slides slide on SH/FC layer down 40-50. Both slides released on a SMALL convexity in a small opening in the glades. 18th - Went for a ridgeline walk heading towards Mt McDermid observed lots of evidence of wind loading & cross loading. Also gained Racecar Notch. As we were skinning up we noticed a lightly barrier wind slab, did some hasty pits & experienced shooting cracks & whumpfs. As we skied back down the ridgeline I did a ski cut on a SMALL convexity at the top of a path, popped a large crack and felt the entire path settle (see photos) I jumped on the crack but couldn't get it to slide. Another member in the group skied a 'Z' across the adjacent open slope but had no results. 19th- woke up to 20cm of fresh low density powder. We did a lap up planetary glades (only to TL) & a quick lap up near the saddle. Fantastic turns, this new snow appeared to make the SH/FC layer less reactive.