Bow Summit profile
Just wanted to write down a few observations about what I saw and experienced this past weekend along the Bow Summit area:
I arrived just before 8AM (Saturday) to high mixed clouds. It had not significantly snowed in at least 24 hours. Temperature along the road (about 2070m) was below zero. No real wind either.
To my surprise with a weather bulletin of heavy snowfall in the area (beginning the evening before) it seemed I was ahead of the weather. There was noone in the parking area. Looks like no Alpine Start for the sleepy heads.
Skinned uphill for the first hour.. whole place to myself. Looked over the NW ridge into the small valley beyond and saw lots of wind effected terrain and exposed rock. Coverage was good on the way up, but you could sure see the wind effected areas. Nice view looking north too.
I then pretty much followed the contour towards the south up to a spine that overlooked quite a nice constant fall line. I set up camp & did a pit at about 2400m.
I found the real concerning layer & what people at Parks Canada and the (CAC) Avalanche centre is very concerned about: the aspect was right in the ballpark of 25 degrees, snow depth was about 2m to ground. The first 62 cms of snow had a variety of storm & usual settling I would expect. Not really any significant or scary crusts.
But.. at about the 60 cms (from top of profile) there was a very definitive layer with the beginnings of ball bearing type snow. Below that – maybe 80+ into the snowpack was just.. sugar. Actually, it was not even sugar. Big swipe with my glove gave me a sickening feeling. Kinda like when you see Hella freezer burn in your freezer. Yikes.
So, there ya go. not much below that layer that needs to be mentioned. Had a bite to eat, filled in the hole and skied some pretty good conservative turns along the skin track I walked up along. No drama for the rest of the morning either. People I met coming up hill were having a good time too.
I left around 2 PM and noticed alot of people up high making their decisions along Num ti Ja, Crowfoot and others. Arriving back at Louise around 3PM, Park rescue trucks, support vehicles & Louise Fire were hot on the way uphill. I heard that they long lined out one subject while doing compressions on him all the way to the Louise Warden office. I hope he makes it.
This morning, Sunday I awoke (sore) to at least 10 and maybe 15. Roads were about to be closed west of Goldie, low valley cloud and it was… warm. Confirmed it brushing the truck off. Pretty easy to make a snowball. So, today was a have another coffee and sit and chat to people day. I'm too cheap to buy a lift ticket at the ski area.. but that woulda been another option.
(edited for spel-ling & clarity..Im fallin asleep here z..z..zzzzz)