Surprise Pass

Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park

gwilson031 , Sunday 3rd April, 2022 7:00AM

Rode Surprise Pass, one of several groups out on Saturday. Active snowfall accumulated to about 5-10cm throughout the morning. The approach was very icy on the established trail. The traverse across Fairview was on thick, supportive crust, but made for challenging travel especially taking the higher bench traverse and coming back down to the cirque. The backside of the pass most likely requires ski crampons or (probably the better option) to just boot pack. The skiing in the bowl was on the aforementioned fresh snow, but conditions underlying were both crust and skied out. There were some really good turns in the middle section of the run, but pretty much the entire length had at least some crust poking through the fresh snow. Stability wise we were dealing with mostly a thick dust on crust situation. Very little wind and no sign of wind slab. We did see evidence of some loose dry movement on steep features. Lots of old wet avalanche evidence is present on south facing slopes.

Snow conditions were: Crusty, Powder. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Stormy. We rode: Alpine slopes. Riding quality was ok.