Skied N facing trees and cutblocks on Elk in 40+cms of storm snow. Amazing skiing where terrain allowed you to get up enough speed to really enjoy the shin (occasionally knee)-deep snow. Good snow quality down to 950m, below which it was heavy and moist, but still very skiable. Cutblocks filled in fairly well down to 700m. Weather: ongoing snow throughout the day until ~1430h. Initially winds were light (with evidence of strong SE winds during the height of the storm), switching to moderate W winds (with active snow transport) with strong gusts that brought soft tree bombs raining down. Skies cleared to ~75% cloud coverage by 1500h. Snowpack: managed to get one small storm slab to release in a sheltered N facing cutblock at ~1250m by cutting a small pillow onto it from above. ~35 degree short slope, slab was 3-4m wide, ~20cms deep and ran ~10m. It was sluggish and came to rest on a steep slope. Bed surface not inspected, but suspect an interface within the storm snow. -Test profile - 1420m, N aspect, 32 degree slope, W wind, 75% clouds, 1430h. Slope was sheltered, N facing trees. HS 240cm Top 45cm was fist density new snow on top of ~15cm moist 4F old snow. Below this was ~10cm of 1F snow, then P/K from 70cm downwards (Jan 31 crust down 70cm). 2 compression tests revealed only a couple PCs within the storm snow. We were curious about a possible preserved SH scenario in sheltered N aspects, but found no sign of it in this location.
Snow conditions were: Heavy, Deep powder. Weather conditions were: Stormy, Windy, Cloudy. We rode: Mellow slopes, Open trees. We avoided: Alpine slopes. Riding quality was good.
Source: Avalanche Canada MIN