Got a chance to stray further afar than just the slackcountry off WH2O and as always well worth the effort. Sledded in to the Mtn Grohman area today up Monument way. As many have posted already the skiing has come back to our little hamlet and Monument was no exception. I got to travel in with an old friend Bob and his friend Dale, who is new to the backcountry ski thing. We toured in classic Kootenay style and that always makes one smile. First our machines were not the high powered ones of Creston area no an old Sanvick 380 and a circa 1997 Tundra. We did however make it in with only getting stuck twice but for almost 30cm on an old track that is not bad for the old Sanvick and Tundra. Then we got to drop the skis and I had to make comment on Dales classics--K2 Heli Stinks. As we toured up Dale let me know that he had just traded for these K2s. I asked him what he traded. Two truck loads of manure he said, awe the Kootenays I though. Where else does two trucks loads of shit get you a pair of skis with dynanfit bindings on them, oh yea and a pair of skins to boot. We headed up toward Mt Kubin and broke out on to the ridge by about noon. The conditions on the way up definitely keep your attention. I have not heard settlement like that in the backcountry for a long time. Mothers nature way of saying "keep your heads up". When we reached the ridge I dug a quick pit and what we heard was confirmed by what I saw. A definite sun/ice crust layer down 38cm on breaking down facets. A CT test confirmed the touchiness as we got CT1 X 2 on this layer. The other tec info is elevation 2100m, aspect NE, winds moderate out of N and air temp -8.4c, incline 18deg, new planner sheer. So with this in hand we choose our lines conservatively. We skied two lines back into the basin and then a final one down to the sleds. Nothing popped or moved and the skiing was fanfabulous. Hey and even the sleds started when we got back so the day was huge success all the way around.
Get out and enjoy but this week might be one to play it safe (just from what we saw)