Mt Fernie

Lizard Range and Flathead

danyal.taylor , Sunday 11th April, 2021 7:35PM

Went through fairy creek up the back basin and headed SE towards the Mt Fernie you see on all the maps. Snow above 1300m was deep and fluffy, around 10-20cm snow. The wind the day prior hit around 80kmph so we were expecting and looking out for wind slabs. Took the heikos rocky road trail north towards the ‘real Mt Fernie’ then took the eastern ridge to the summit. Stayed in the trees on south facing slope on the way up as best we could. There was about 5-10cm of blower snow sitting on a sun crust. It wasn’t reactive at all with hand shear tests/jump tests (surprising) since we were looking out for cross loading given the prior winds. The slope also wasn’t scoured! Boot packed the last 100m. It was a race against time, we assumed it could gain slab by properties if the sun came out or temps rose but got up and down in good time. Right before the summit (2360m~) we did a hand shear test and had a decent result, a slab slid very easily on a weak layer around 30-40cm deep. Kept the first few turns conservative. Had a wonderful ski down the south face and then into rocky road. Snow got wet and heavy around 1400m on the way out.

Snow conditions were: Powder. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Cold. We rode: Alpine slopes, Open trees, Steep slopes. Riding quality was amazing.

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