Bow Summit - North Face

Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park

tpoitras , Thursday 19th March, 2020 8:40PM

Good skiing quality in the north facing bowl below Pac-Man Couloir, above Bow Summit. Thin on the edges, but the guts were very supportive with soft snow on top (where we skied). Skin track up was conservative up the ridge with a small boot pack near ridge top. Recent tracks in the couloir (~2 days). Lots of avalanches in steep alpine terrain on solar aspects; dry and slab. Another party that skied the ridge above Bow Summit commented that it was very crusty and variable on that face.

Snow conditions were: Powder. Weather conditions were: Warm, Cloudy, Sunny. We rode: Alpine slopes, Steep slopes. We avoided: Sunny slopes, Convex slopes. Riding quality was good.

Avalache Conditions: Slab avalanches today or yesterday.


Test pit dug at 11N 534286.87E 5728912.44N, 2254m on a small bench before Alpine slope break. North aspect, 20-25° slope, mod wind & low sun exposure. CTM13 SP down 15cm on facets. Shovel shear test was strong, and failed ~90cm down planar. Upper snowpack is 4F to 1F with variable wind/sun crust (aspect dependant) on surface. Mid pack is P to K and very strong.


Avalanche in the gully below the headwall of Observation Peak. Happened sometime between 12-5pm today. Solar aspect. See photo (red arrow). Lots of other avalanches on these aspects in the area. Three avalanches in the North bowl below Pac-Man Couloir are 2-3 days old. Start zone was steep rocks above bowl, run length was 200m, max 20m wide, loose.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN