A mid-week pineapple express made for some stressed out storm-watching. Fortunately the temps were *just* cold enough for the alpine to survive. As the week wore on, temps dropped even more in the alpine and precip fell as snow from 1700m on leading to much better conditions. Mix in some high pressure, some judicious terrain management to search for non wind-affected snow and there were good conditions to be had.
First of all some snows obs from 121212 on the Encore Ridge/Whistler side
Did a hasty at 1850 before dropping into Flute Backside. HS 160 on ENE slope approx 35 deg. 4F new snow down 30. Rain crust @ 35. Isothermic rainsoaked schmoo @35 – 65; M/F crust @65. FC at 90
CTM 14 @ 35 RP. CTH 23 @ 35 RP. Shovel shear @90 on the FC.
E Flute backside slopes had a hint of windslab starting higher but decreasing lower
General obs is that we found snow depth of between 150 – 180 at around 1600 – 1850m at or below treeline. Ridgetops were wind-affected from the SW strong winds mid-week. Nov 9 facets are buried between 60 – 120 down depending on aspect so that’s definitely in play. Glacier coverage still poor with crevasses poorly bridged from looking at Blackcomb
Encore Ridge Dec 12, 2014
Out via Harmony along the boundary dropping into the backside of Flute then back via the boundary.
Blackcomb December 13, 2014
7th was the 1st alpine lift to crack this season. After a one hour wait in the liftline up to the top then dropped down to Horstman Glacier. Then out to Spearhead Col with a run down to Circle Lake and out via Bodybag.
Blackcomb Dec 14, 2014
Out via Glacier Express. Then a long rambling tour down to Circle Lake then up to Bodybag Col. All the way down to Decker Lake then out via the Mousetrap.