With the recent overnight snowfall, I decided to see if I could squeeze one more run out of Chicken Wing for the season, with mixed results.
About 10cm of fresh snow was present on both the approach and ascent. Starting at 8am this morning, conditions were already getting a little sticky and my progress was aided by a reapplication of skin wax.
1. Generally speaking, about 10cm of fresh new snow fairly evenly covered all areas and aspects, with minimal wind transport observed with the exception of the NE ridge approaching the summit.
2. Coverage below fresh snow varied. On approach, in a number of places there was no underlying supportive coverage and on return my skin tracks had already begun to reveal dirt. Higher up there was buried icy crust with variable depth of at a minimum 20cm in places.
3. Universally the new snow was not sufficiently supportive to prevent bottoming out, and the ski descent felt (and sounded) indistinguishable for skiing crust, rather than the fresh power on top.
4. No real instability was observed. It was possible to sluff off a good chunk of the new snow on certain slope angles, as the top layer moved on underlying crust. No propagation was observed and given the minimal new snow amounts and limited movement, I did not find this concerning.
5. In general, the biggest hazard was limited and difficult to predict coverage under the new powder layer.
6. Wind was beginning to pick up as I descended around 10am and skins were required to exit Obsidian Dome Road.