Highly variable snow surfaces and challenging skiing

Rogers Pass - NRC and Hermit Glacier National Park

Will Woods , Sunday 14th February, 2021 8:00PM

Spent the last two days at Rogers Pass with an AST2 crew.

Saturday - went up NRC and descended MacWest 4. We observed developing surface hoar between 1450 and 1900m in sheltered places (the openings in NRC proper, and along the south trim line in the big path), and variable wind effect (more pronounced in the ALP and on south aspects in the lower bowl) once we got into upper TL and the forest cover became more open. Still managed to find good ski quality in the open on the west aspect descent. No results in our test pits at 1900m in the lower bowl.

Sunday - went up Hermit and skied from the top of the Lizards Tail into the big path to the east of the Hermit parking area. Our test pits again had no results in loading tests (ECT, CT) but we were able to repeatedly isolate planar fractures down 40cm, 65cm, 75cm and 110cm (this is the Jan24 interface, which was a crust on the SW aspect). The surfaces were highly variable in the upper TL and ALP again today. Old tracks, old debris, new windslab, facetted old windslab and even some well settled pow lower down in the trees. No reactivity to skier traffic, but those interfaces will take some time to bond as the temps warm up again.
Also, we chatted to a group who descended Lone Pine Lite, and they said it was "very bad skiing"

Source: Mountain Conditions