Snow cave overnighter
Lizard Range and Flathead
joeallen28 , Thursday 11th April, 2019 9:45AM
Overnight trip up behind Mt Fernie with a snow cave on the saddle looking North towards Three Sisters. Monday 8th - set off from Alpine Trails Road end on foot (firm snow from overnight freeze) Put the skins on after crossing Fairy Creek and headed SW up drainage into the alpine. Snow was becoming sun affected and wet by 10am. Access through lower elevation was tricky on old slide paths and large patches of alder. At around 1800m and above still powder to be found even on small terrain features that are N facing. Dug snow cave on saddle where our probe showed 2.5m+ snow depth. See pics 1-4 Tuesday 9th - minor accumulations of snow overnight but continued at around 1-2cm per hour in the morning. We rode laps of N facing slopes to around 30deg. Snow was good quality powder, between 20-30cms on top of hardpack. See pics 5 and 6. By around midday we were triggering small size 1 wet slides, and we observed point releases on steep S aspects at 2100m despite there being thick cloud cover. On descent back to fairy creek the snow had a 5cm crust on higher elevation S aspects (pic 7) and from around 1500m down was isothermal slush which made for incredibly difficult riding (in dense alder patches!)
Snow conditions were: Crusty, Heavy, Wet, Powder. Weather conditions were: Stormy, Warm, Cloudy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Mellow slopes, Open trees. We avoided: Steep slopes, Sunny slopes. Riding quality was good.
Source: Avalanche Canada MIN