Cheops Shelf

Glacier

Willy.Wonka , Saturday 23rd March, 2024 4:10PM

Went up Cheops today. Fast travel to Balu with minimal dust on crust. West ridge of Cheops was well frozen, with 5-10cm think supportive crust with a few cms of softer snow overlying that took a bit of an edge. The ski crampons were quite handy. Winds at Balu and on the ridge were blowing ~30km/hr, some spindrift down the faces on Cheops, but not that much left to transport. We bootpacked the last section of ridge to reach the rap station into the shelf. An ice axe was handy as it was pretty firm. The cornice is straightforward to get over and we probably needed to rap about 35m to reach the snow. Snow skied well with 5-15cm of powder overlying firm Styrofoam. We were able to keep the skis on through the choke which was generally well bonded snow for the most part. The rest of the line skied well. There was one old crown line, ~20cm deep. Suspected windloaded/spindriff accumulation on the underlying crust. Some small pockets were reactive but again I suspect where the spindrift had been accumulating. The bottom back to the skin track was fun dust on crust. All in all a beautiful day out!

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN