Cheops North - Chance - Hill Couloir

Glacier National Park

Meshwell Boschmann , Thursday 31st December, 2020 7:45PM

Took advantage of this great stability and weather window to nail one of those lines that had been in my mind for years but to which I had been given more attention in the last couple months. 2-3 cm overnight at the trailhead turned to maybe 6 cm below Balu Pass. The far left side of the WNW shoulder of Cheops was the usual thin snowpack with boulders, facets and crust from windscouring while further right on the face was deeper. We made sure no one was in STS yet and dropped a fridge size cornice at the entrance of the Chance - Hill. It did not produce any result and most of it stopped on a bench but showed that the snow was light and fluffy. Ski cut on belay of the convexity at the top of the upper couloir did not produce any result either. Probing around with poles showed a slight buried slough slab in the through while the skiers left had pockets of very soft slab. The opening at the bottom of the upper couloir had a firm bed surface from sloughs covered with 15cm of light density snow. We did two rappels (35m and 25m) to access the bottom middle couloir which previous observations showed that it had continuous snow, i.e. no ice, all the way to the bottom. Ski cuts on belay at the top of the bottom middle couloir did not produce any result. The through was a mix of slough slabs and soft debris (from ski cutting) with short sections of pencil hard bed surface from sloughing. The skiers left side was boot top deep with pockets of 5-20cm thick soft slab. All in all, an excellent day with great couloir conditions!

Snow conditions were: Powder. Weather conditions were: Windy, Cloudy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Convex slopes, Steep slopes. Riding quality was good.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN