Gibbs Basin - Exploring the spring conditions and weather
Signs of Unstable Snow
Confidence in Rating:
Yesterday(4/4) we experienced variable weather and snowpack conditions in the Gibbs Lake/Kidney Chute area.
7AM Started from the truck parked between upper and lower horse meadow at 7600 feet we walked with our running shoes on for over an hour. When we had to cross snow it was supportable.
Skis and skins went on at ~9000 feet, but there were still a few bare patches we couldn’t avoid until we reached the flatter forested area below Gibbs Lake.
Gibbs Lake was frozen, but had open water at the inlet and water percolating around the edges.
With overcast skies the snow surface was supportable, but softened just enough to make for easy skinning without ski crampons.
Winds were Moderate, but gusted Strong to Extreme at times threatening to knock us over in exposed areas.
Kidney Chute was skin-able with softer snow on the surface, but not softened to the point of being good skiing for the way down.
Cloud cover, lack of radiation and wind turned us around part way up the Chute.
Lower elevations yielded better turns and the glide out was supportable due to lack of solar input. Had the sun been out all day it may have been more difficult and dangerous travel down in the trees.
Overall a great adventure day out there, but not the stable and predictable diurnal cycle we all hope for this time of year. Keep your skis and skins waxed and maybe the next couple of days will yield corn harvest.