Fun laps On Zoa
South Coast Inland
Luke_Skiwalker , Thursday 19th November, 2020 5:10PM
We had a fun day on Zoa peak. There's enough coverage on the east side of the basin to ski - we stuck to the small gulleys to avoid sharks. There are some exposed rocks and a few trees sticking out. The east side of Zoa's main peak is very wind affected with rocks sticking out in the scoured spots. The main hazard comes from wind slabs. I jumped on a convexity and popped a stubbon wind slab that hardly travelled which was what we expected. Good skiing is to be had and the snow was falling pretty hard as we were coming out. The road is plowed all the way to the Falls lake parking lot and we got rockstar parking - I guess pipelines have a good side too ;)
Snow conditions were: Wind affected, Powder. Weather conditions were: Windy, Cloudy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Mellow slopes, Convex slopes, Steep slopes, Open trees. Riding quality was good.
Avalache Conditions: 30cm + of new snow, or significant drifitng, or rain in the last 48 hours. Slab avalanches today or yesterday. Whumpfing or drum-like sounds or shooting cracks.
Dug a quick pit on Zoa's sub-peak. The rain/temperature crust was down about 30cm. There is a crust at the very bottom - then between 10cm & 100cm hardness was 1 finger hard. There is a small melt freeze crust at 100cm and the snow was notably softer (fist hardness) to the rain crust at 115cm. Above the crust snow was right-side up with hardness going from 1 finger to 4 fingers to 1 fist at the top. Compression test resulted in no failure.
I jumped on a NE facing convexity that was wind loaded. A 5m slab separated and slid about 20cm before stopping. Start zone was 35 degrees. The slab failed 2-4cm above the most recent rain crust, size of slab was 30cm. Reactivity was stubborn, distribution was specific based on our observations of the wind affected terrain - ergo wind slabs possible based on the matrix.
Source: Avalanche Canada MIN