Alex Grierson , Wednesday 13th January, 2021 5:55PM
We just had three days of awesome skiing at Jumbo Cabin (Jan 11-13), and some very spicy avalanche conditions on Wednesday the 13th. While skinning up on Monday we observed surface hoar at TL and BTL, mostly in open areas. This was mostly around sz 3, but up to sz 15 in isolated areas at TL. We dug a profile Monday afternoon (see snowpack tab). This showed a right-side up, well settled snowpack, with no weak layers of concern. It snowed 5 to 10cm throughout the day on Tuesday with moderate SW winds. We avoided the alpine due to poor vis and wind. We skied steep lines (up to 40 degrees) on east and SW aspects at treeline and observed no signs of instability. There was evidence of natural activity from some of the larger East facing paths below the cabin, which looked around a week old. Ski quality was excellent on Tuesday with ski pen of around 30cm. On Tuesday night it got very stormy and windy. We could hear the wind howling all night and awoke on Wednesday to a full on blizzard. Snow was blowing in all directions but wind was primarily from the west. It was difficult to tell how much snow had fallen with all the drifting but an estimate is 20-30cm overnight. Ski quality was terrible above 2200m with all the wind affect but amazing deep powder in the trees below 2200m. Storm slabs were very touchy. Lots of cracking and every convexity/pillow we skied on was sliding around 20cm deep. Failure surface appeared to be stellars sz 2-3. We also observed lots of natural activity (see avalanche tab). Around 1900m ski quality deteriorated again due to tree bombs everywhere. There were also a lot of blow down. When we returned to the sled it was buried under 30cm of snow. That was one crazy storm. Haven't experienced a blizzard/winds like that since leaving New Zealand!
Snow conditions were: Deep powder, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Stormy, Windy. We rode: Mellow slopes, Dense trees, Steep slopes, Open trees. Riding quality was amazing.
Avalache Conditions: 30cm + of new snow, or significant drifitng, or rain in the last 48 hours. Slab avalanches today or yesterday. Whumpfing or drum-like sounds or shooting cracks.
Observed several natural storm slab avalanches (aprox. 20cm deep) on small convexities while skiing a conservative line down an east aspect at treeline. While sledding out Jumbo Creek FSR most of the large paths above the road (N aspects) had run naturally. One had covered the road with 1-2m of debris (could still easily sled over it) and another came within 10m of the road. Debris was not super hard so these probably occurred Wednesday morning.
Source: Avalanche Canada MIN