Pocaterra Ridge Area
Variable depth of powder depending on aspect ranging from 10 cm to 35 cm on top a solid 15 cm thick rain crust. There’s a lot going on in the snowpack. The way the last storm came in and winds deposited snow on different aspects than normal. West aspect had the best skiing, the usual leeward east aspect we had to retreat from skinning up due to lack of snow on top of crust and thinning rain crust. South aspect I could do hand shear test with a pole to cut block (but think this was localized), so won’t mention results. West aspect I had to saw through rain crust to do hand shear test, it failed with little force to base. Basal snow had high water content, presumably trapped from impenetrable rain crust (for now). Not much faceting seen. Rain crust was very supportive, because of dense wet snow underneath and the crust thickness. We stayed cleared of areas where crust could be thinner. Potato Chip Test and hand shear test showed deeper powder on top of snow is reasonably bonded, except in areas where crust was recently covered with the latest 10 cm (just fluff on top of crust).
Snow conditions were: Crusty, Wind affected, Powder. Weather conditions were: Cloudy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Mellow slopes. We avoided: Steep slopes, Convex slopes. Riding quality was good.
Source: Avalanche Canada MIN