Whitewater Backcountry Conditions
The latest Public Mountain Conditions Report for the Whitewater backcountry by Shaun King of Mountain Sense Guideing:
Just back from an AST 1 course in the Whitewater area backcountry today...
About 10cm of new snow fell overnight followed by rain today to ridgetop (~2100m where we were). By 1pm, -1C temps were already forming a weak 2cm thick rain crust that will make for particularly challenging skiing when it freezes solid.
We found resistant, moderate shears at storm snow interfaces down 25cm and 45cm on north and south aspects in a 220 - 240cm snowpack. We also found the Jan. 3 surface hoar layer down 80cm giving hard, sudden shears with crystals up to 12mm near ridgetop! We did not see or hear any activity but visibility was severely limited.
Reports from yesterday at Kootenay Pass were that hail pellets had penetrated the top 10cm providing challenging skiing from ridgetop down to ~1800m where the rain crust began in earnest.
Today off the Kaslo / New Denver Hwy a party reported that most open slopes above 35 degrees had slid below treeline.
Just learning now of a fatality in Kokanee Park.
Wish I had better news.
Shaun King ACMG / UIAGM Mountain Guide
Mountain Sense Guiding & Instruction