The South Fork valley is slowly, but surely, filling in after the past couple storms – which have deposited more in the northern advisories zones than the Glen Alps and Canyon Road areas.
We experienced no red flags of instability during our North Bowl tour. No signs of recent avalanche activity noted in the South Fork and Ship Creek valleys. There is a bunch of fresh snow (~5″ in parking lot up to ~12″ in deeper North Bowl pockets) and the wind is continuing to build up pockets that will likely be slabbier in the near future until they’re fully bonded. The new snow rests atop firm windboard in most places.
Hand pits on the way up North Bowl revealed easy failures at the ground in thin areas of the snowpack where layers of denser, rounding facets and windboard sit atop depth hoar and well developed facets at the ground. However, the more consistent and deeper areas that are enticing for skiing also harbor layers of firm, supportable windboard with rounding facet layers between – but ground failures are harder to initiate and less likely to happen due to the supportable windboard layers and a generally deeper snowpack. In these deeper areas, the top layer of windboard showed subtle instability in hand pits sliding on the rounding facet layer just between it and another windboard layer. New snow is also sluffing on the windboard just beneath it, and may likely become slabbier as it gets more wind deposit and is windpacked.
We skied a North Bowl run in a stormy ping pong ball first run and were treated to good vis for our second.
We were happy to have exceeded expectations. There’s great skiing out there folks – stop lamenting last season!