Mega deep day at Elk

AvCan Vancouver Island

Finally had our chance to get into the field and check out all the new snow. We made a beeline to Elk Mountain, started on sleds at about 300m (could be pushed a bit higher), found 20-30cm of new snow from about 500 to 650m, then WHAM! 80 to 110 cm on the road from that point up. We did NOT make it to the ridge. Parked at just under 1000m after a bit of trench warfare with the sleds and walked in the deepest conditions we've seen all season to 1300m, our high point. Here we found a good bond forming between all the new snow and the old, moist crust, but a few concerning lower density layers in the storm snow. Snowpack tests didn't reveal any touchy instabilities but we weren't about to let that change our conservative mindset. We saw wind slabs actively forming, knocked apart some storm slab chunks on small unsupported features, saw recent natural avalanches (despite limited travel), and wouldn't have much confidence in these layers at higher elevations.

Snow conditions were: Deep powder. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Sunny, Windy. We rode: Dense trees, Mellow slopes, Sunny slopes. We avoided: Steep slopes. Riding quality was amazing.

Avalache Conditions: Slab avalanches today or yesterday. 30cm + of new snow, or significant drifitng, or rain in the last 48 hours.