Windslabs in the alpine

Yukon - Paddy Peak Yukon

Eirik Sharp , Thursday 31st December, 2020 8:30AM

We spent the day exploring the east aspects of Paddy Peak in the Tutshi Lake area. We found good skiing in sheltered terrain at treeline and below with firm wind affected surfaces in the alpine and exposed features at lower elevations.

At 1500m, an average of 60cm of well-settled (4 - finger to 1-finger hardness) snow overlies a thin layer of facets above the December 02 melt-freeze crust. This interface failed with a sudden planer character under moderate loads in compression tests. We also noticed some recent avalanche debris (24-24hrs old) from a size 3 avalanche that released out of in steep, complex alpine terrain and ran full-path to the valley bottom

Given the local reactivity we encountered on this layer, we turn as around as the terrain became more complex and presented fewer options to limit our exposure to lee features and terrain traps.

Source: Mountain Conditions