Goat Range Conditions
The latest update....
Just got back from four days of cat skiing in the Lardeau drainage near Meadow Creek.
Wow what a storm! Most notable of this one was the 80cm dump of storm snow. It was quite warm but the freezing level stayed just below our tenure. Even though, the snow was very heavy near the bottom of the runs at 1500m.
We skied most runs between 2300m and 1800m to stay out of the schmoo. Because the storm started out cold then warmed up, the new snow had an upside down feature with denser snow above less dense snow. Made for challenging skiing with the skis diving into the softer layer. On Sunday the snow became reactive with small soft slabs sliding down between the ski tracks. These didn't propagate or run very far. We saw one small natural avalanche that came off a steep bluff. Hand shears produced moderate planar results down 40cm and this layer continued to be reactive with more snow Sunday night. We stayed in the trees and avoided any steep, open terrain.
I'd expect the conditions were less stable in the alpine but the poor visibility limited our observations. By the time I left, the settled snow depth was a good 2m.
With the current cooling trend, I'm hoping the snow will dry out instead of forming a melt/freeze crust. But, I can only hope...
Craig Hollinger,ACMG Assistant Ski Guide.