Helm Creek Headwaters

Helm Creek Drainage Sea to Sky

Dave Sarkany , Wednesday 17th November, 2021 8:00AM

The Cheakamus Lk Road survived the monsoon well. There are some big pot holes but no washouts. The trail from the parking lot was not really skiable until we got to the1000m contour on the Helm Creek portion. Much of the trail must have been a creek! But there where no washouts that actually undermined the trails integrity.

The snow pack was about 20cm at the parking lot, 90cm deep at the Helm Campground at 1500m. At 1900m on a North aspect there was a consistent 2m deep pack. Interestingly just a little lower near Helm Lk at (around 1800m same aspect) it was only 1.2m.
We started with a clear sky that clouded over with cumulus late in the day. -10c at 13:45

The past storm left ample old end of storm avalanche activity. Lots of up to Sz 2.5 point releases from rocky steep areas. Some up to Sz 3 slabs from higher steep N (lee) features. We rated the hazard as Low for elevations up to about 2000m. Above 2000m we could see less rain effect and we thought the hazard would be a "cautiously approached" Moderate.

We skied to about 2000m near Gentian Pk/Panorama Ridge and then skied a NW facing slope to the frozen lake below. From treeline up there is a K hard 20cm ice crust on or near the surface. In some protected locations we found up to 10cm new snow on the crust.
Tricky dust on crust in rain runnels skiing!

The treeline skiing was icy breakable crust. Below treeline to 1000m was variable frozen ice chunks and tree debris. Our legs got tried and we definitely got our intended work out.

Source: Mountain Conditions