AvCan Vancouver Island , Wednesday 25th January, 2023 4:10PM
A beautiful day above the marine cloud layer at Mt Beadnell today! We unloaded sleds at the Oyster 100 branch and rode through about 100m of frozen mud (melted by end of day) before hitting snow. It was still chilly at our ski tour transition point above Beadnell Lake, but we really felt the air warming as we ascended. By our 12:00 summit, we were seeing +5, with sun exposed slopes now moist down 5 cm. Cool north winds and shade kept north aspects from melting, but the damage has already been done. A 1-3 cm melt freeze crust already forms the surface on norths and really wrecks the skiing. We found a few scraps of dry snow at ridgetop but nothing significant. What a shame! On the plus side, the wind slabs we encountered are now old and unreactive. Bashing through the crust on our steep north aspect descent, we noticed a narrow, warm elevation band between about 1500-1400 m where the mainly dry snow beneath the weakening crust had become moist and would generate massive rollerballs with ski cuts on steep features. This seemed to coincide with shelter from the wind. Sleds managed the marginal snow a lot better than skis!
Snow conditions were: Crusty, Heavy. Weather conditions were: Sunny, Warm, Windy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Open trees, Steep slopes. We avoided: Sunny slopes. Riding quality was ok.
Avalache Conditions: Rapid temperature rise to near zero degrees or wet surface snow.