Sun In Crowsnest

South Rockies

southrockies , Tuesday 9th March, 2021 4:50PM

Today we traveled in the Crownest Area, from York Creek to the Mt Coulthard cirque. We saw a range of different aspects and saw an old size 2 slab avalanche triggered by a snowmobile, that was on average 50cm deep but up to 100cm deep where the slope was wind loaded. With mild temps and not much wind transport occurring in the last week we expected to find that both Persistent Weak Layers (PWL's) were healing... We did not find this!!! We found both layers are still reactive and have the potential to cause large avalanches. At 2000m on a N aspect we were able to produce propagating ECT results 70cm deep on the Jan 24 PWL, which is large facets with a stiff wind slab over top. In this area we were also able to produce a propagating ECT result 35cm deep on the Feb 18 PWL, which is size 1 facets with a stiff wind slab on top. These slabs are the most worrisome in isolated areas where wind transported snow has formed a stiff, stubborn slab over both layers of facets. We made some nice turns under the bluebird Alberta skies on sunny South-facing low angle slopes where there is 5cm new snow over last week's melt-freeze crust.

Snow conditions were: Crusty, Hard, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Sunny. We rode: Mellow slopes. Riding quality was ok.