I toured up rock creek today aiming to climb and ski the East chutes on Mt Starr. I was hoping to get an idea of the overall coverage in the Rock Creek drainage and hoping for a smooth sliding surface.
Coverage on the road is still adequate and travel is easy from the winter closure.
Westerly aspects in rock creek are almost entirely bare. It would be a challenge to find many contiguous areas of slidable snow on that side of the creek.
Coverage is more substantial on the easterly aspects, however many areas of bare ground still exist, and the snow that is there is quite variable and heavily sun affected.
Large penitentes were the norm as I climbed the lower flanks of Mt Starr. It was a bit comical really as I skinned through the large fins up to 18″ in length. While skining was relatively easy considering, the fins were still pretty frozen and crunchy. It became apparent that my knees would be at risk with a long descent through this surface and I decided to cut my losses and turned around at around 11,000′.
No signs of instability were observed on my tour today. But if it’s an adventure you are looking for there is plenty to be had out there!
Light , W
It was a beautiful day out in the hills today with blue skies, light winds and very warm temperatures.