Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park
sagath , Monday 20th December, 2021 9:35AM
Checked out Jimmy Jr. Saturday. Visibility was low low low. Lots of tracks from Friday. Noticed while skinning up to the top some fresh overhead releases from steep alpine areas that fell next to the headwall on lookers left. We opted to cut it short, and pushed over to the slide paths further north and ski the avvy paths. Great skiing to be found from the edge of the alpine down in to the TL. The alpine was wind/cross loaded and had large swaths of 'styrofoam' feel. Hollow sounding at places, spooky, so we ditched the top and just skied from edge of treeline lower down. Sunday we returned to the same spot. Visibility was much improved. Based on Saturdays storm snow (10-15cm of new) adding to the loading we saw we skipped out on Jimmy Jr, and went back to the slide paths. One other party followed us in about an hour later. We chatted briefly and passed on what our experience was yesterday in the alpine. They opted to go higher anyways, made several poor decisions (transitioning under a chute & over a terrain trap?) and later watched them trigger a Sz 1.5 about 100m wide on the upper bench (under the cliffs) exactly where we suspected the windloading & the storm snow to let go. With suspected full trousers of poop they returned to their car. No other noticed problems in the snow pack via hand shears, ski cuts, etc, but the alpine is windloaded, storm loaded and primed to pop some avalanches.
Snow conditions were: Deep powder, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Cold, Sunny. We rode: Mellow slopes, Open trees. We avoided: Alpine slopes, Convex slopes, Steep slopes. Riding quality was good.
Stable from TL to BTL. Alpine wind loaded and cross loaded in isolated areas.
Wind Calm in the alpine, but stronger (moderate) in the valley. Skin track was completely covered in the 6 hours from skinning in to leaving.
See MIN Quick report.