After the long weekend...
Yukon Field Team , Tuesday 19th April, 2022 6:35PM
After an extended period of low / low avalanche danger ratings in the alpine and at treeline, we felt confident enough today to step out into steeper, more technical terrain. Following a spell of fairly consistent weather over the long weekend, we also wanted to investigate snow surfaces on solar aspects. Top of our minds were the potential for large cornice fall as well as the presence of any lingering wind slab following the significant northerly wind event of last week. With firm surfaces on all aspects, we were also mindful of the potentially serious consequences of a slip and fall while travelling in steeper terrain. We sledded 8km east of the highway and saw a wide range of terrain and aspects. In the valleys we found 5-7cm of new snow on low angle terrain which improved riding conditions. No new avalanches were observed. We transitioned to skis – and eventually to ski crampons – and worked our way up a south-easterly aspect planning to ski a steeper, unsupported feature with a few cliff bands and rolls in the terrain. We travelled through variable snow conditions including crust, hard icy surfaces, and wind effected snow, as well as a few isolated ‘drum like’ older wind slabs that remined unreactive to skis. Winds were light from the south-east today. Morning temperatures were -8 and reached -2 after lunch – not warm enough to significantly warm the snow surface on the solar aspects we choose to ski. Nevertheless, after a series of cold nights some faceting of the upper snowpack and gradual decomposition of the sun crusts made for improved skiing after the challenging riding conditions we've experienced of late. We enjoyed some firm but carve-able turns from 1500m down to complete our loop, but there was no corn cycle today.
Snow conditions were: Hard. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Cold. We rode: Alpine slopes, Convex slopes, Steep slopes. Riding quality was good.