Warm, windy, crusts and avalanches in Crowsnest

South Rockies

southrockies , Tuesday 22nd March, 2022 4:35PM

Today we went to the Crowsnest where we found the sun and warm temperatures doing its work on steep solar-facing slopes. Several size 1 - 1.5 wet loose avalanches were observed throughout the day. Temperatures in the alpine around 1:00 were -0.8 degrees and the moderate to strong west winds were helping to keep surface snow dry on all but steep south-facing slopes at all elevations and all aspects below 1600m. The alpine was stripped down to hard surfaces and lower down at treeline we found wind-affected snow over some softer snow that made skiing a challenge but not an avalanche problem. Below the most recent snow that fell late last week, there are bomber surfaces of either melt-freeze crust on solar and hard wind-pressed snow on north-facing. Cornices are overhanging in this area, we stayed well away from slopes below.

Snow conditions were: Heavy, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Sunny, Warm, Windy. We rode: Alpine slopes, Open trees, Steep slopes. We avoided: Convex slopes. Riding quality was ok.

Avalache Conditions: Rapid temperature rise to near zero degrees or wet surface snow.