We took advantage of the beautiful spring-like weather and toured up to the crystal lake area between Scowden and Gillcest for a bit of a dual-sport day.
We experienced a wide variety of surface conditions today including thin breakable crusts, very firm and slick wind board, old avalanche debris with the appearance of cauliflower, some areas of moist “Potato chip” like penitentes, and a few small patches of faceted soft snow.
Surface warming was limited to areas with direct sun at lower elevations. Shaded areas along Mill creek still hold impressive surface hoar and soft near-surface facets.
Southerly facing aspects throughout Lundy canyon are looking pretty thin these days.
Climbing the summer trail from the Lundy lake dam proved to be quite firm and slick. ski crampons were necessary equipment although boot crampons would have also gotten the job done.
Some very minor surface softening occurred on SE tilting slopes around 10,000′ but for the most part, the upper elevations are comprised of very hard, wind-sculpted wind board.
The shallow and sporadic coverage in the alpine was also notable. Wide swathes of dry ground exist with ribbons of slidable snow that could provide some decent options in gully features and couloirs.
Descending back to the winter closure was quite fast, hard, and textured in the late afternoon shade. I think the riskiest part of our day was navigating the road back to the gate. Coverage on the Road is getting pretty thin in places with a couple of areas of dry road. In addition, old snowmachine tracks and one area with some notable bomb holes created by a stuck 4 wheeler kept us on our toes.
No signs of instability were noted on our tour today.
Sunny skies and warm temperatures provided a pleasant day in the alpine. Winds were gusty out of the NE in the alpine.Close