Belle Mountain Late Spring Ride
cjacres , Wednesday 26th April, 2023 12:50PM
Staging area is muddy but the trail is in amazing condition. Lower section barely degraded by the time we came back. Moderate to Strong SW winds with temp around 0C at the top of little Belle. Between sun and wind affects not much powdery snow to ride unless going into wind sheltered, treed areas on Notherly aspects. Highly sun affected south slopes had foot and sled penetration but not to the point that it appeared to have a destabilizing effect. Despite the conditions, it was well worth the trip just for the views and to have a pesky Ptarmigan pop up and try some parkour manouveurs off your helmet on the return trip down the trail. Sadly, this the last trip of the season for us.
Snow conditions were: Hard, Wet, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Sunny, Warm, Windy. We rode: Convex slopes, Mellow slopes, Open trees, Steep slopes, Sunny slopes. We avoided: Alpine slopes. Riding quality was ok.
Avalache Conditions: Rapid temperature rise to near zero degrees or wet surface snow.
Foot and sled penetration was for the most sun affected southerly slopes. Snowpack well consolidated. Unless in sheltered areas from sun and wind, not much for dry, soft snow. In many areas the snow was so hard the track was barely penetrating the surface. Moderate to strong SW winds with light transport as there is not much loose snow left to transport. The wind was still scouring the surface a little. Large cornices that will likely drop in the next warm up. Most powdery snow is in northerly aspects in more densely treed areas. In highly sun affected areas the snow was getting wetter allowing for more penetration but did not appear to be at the point of destabilizing the snowpack yet.
Moderate to strong SW winds. Not much loose snow left to transport but it was still managing to scour the surface a bit. Wind was strong enough that at certain angles our bodies were acting as sails requiring unusual steering requirements for the terrain. Unsure how much fresh snow occurred in the last storm cycle. Old tracks in the wind sheltered areas so it appears wind has most likely been from SW for a couple of days. Sun was quite intense when it was out.