Very Windy in the Alpine

K-Country - Tryst Lake

Marc Piché

Fellow guide, Sean Isaac and I poked our noses into the Tryst lake area today to see how the recent storm had changed conditions.

We avoided overhead hazard on the approach by staying out of the gully. The new snow (25+cm) was low-density and showed little wind effect at and below treeline. The wind was howling in the alpine and many of the higher ridges in that zone were scoured down to the rocks. Skiing above treeline did not look appealing at all!

We dug a test profile in a protected area on the far end of the ridge and found moderate to hard, resistant planar shears. There were no visible recent avalanches and also no cracking or whumphing in the recent storm snow. Ski cutting also produced no results. After gaining some confidence, we opted to ski a couple of the typically more heavily skied shutes.

Though we had gained enough confidence to enjoy turns in the popular and relatively sheltered area we skied today, we had no desire to explore anything more open or exposed to the wind. The snowpack 'felt' pretty good where we were today but it may not have been indicative of conditions in general.

Marc Piché
ACMG Mountain Guide

Source: Mountain Conditions