Duffy Lake Mt Chief Pascal South Coast
I skied with a group on the N slopes of Chief Pascal yesterday.
We had totally blue sky for most of the day. Air temps where between -16 and -18. At first there was a strong north wind which blew plumes of snow off the higher peaks, later this calmed to a light easterly. We found a strong temperature gradient in the upper 35cm of the snow pack.
The latest observations from the Public Mountain Conditions report:
Below Tree Line we had 20cm of light snow over tree bombed icy crude, however the cut blocks provided surprisingly good sking.
At Tree Line there was generally 30cm of light (Fist and Four Finger) density snow over thin decomposing rain crust. Here in a protected opening at 6200 feet we dug into the snow and got consistent Moderate Compression Tests which fractured irregularly just above the crust.
At the same location the January 4 Surface Hoar was 90-110cm below the surface. We got inconsistent Hard Compression Tests on this layer, but it failed to fracture with a Rotschblock Test and it also failed to perform during an Extended Colum Test.
Skiing was better than good at this elevation! There was lots of evidence of the past avalanche cycle.
In the Alpine the snow was very wind effected. Many slopes where scoured to expose a hard icy surface, and there was evidence of recent (<24 hrs) Natural Avalanches failing in cross loaded features. Across the valley on a North aspect slope of Joffre we saw what looked like a Sz 1-2 slab triggered that day by a group of skiers in a cross loaded feature. We cut a 1500-2000kg cornice nose into NE aspect gully 300m NW of the summit of Chief Pascal. It only created a Sz 1 sluff as it tumbled through the hard wind effected snow.
Good sking at Tree Line.