Conditions Report: Coast Feb 15, 2017
Julie-Ann Chapman | On 15, Feb 2017
“Its getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes” – Nelly
Nelly said it; freezing levels are rising big time and rain is on its way. Booo. Last week we got an insane amount of snow (about 80cm) that was accompanied by some relatively strong winds. Following this we got some very warm temps all the way to the tops of the mountains and full sunshine on Sunday and Monday.
As far as the snowpack goes, the new snow from last week has been wind affected, melted from the rising temps and sun baked. This new snow is reactive (judging by some of the MIN reports in the area). With the warming temps and more precipitation on the way for today and Thursday, I am going to take a guess that wet slab avalanches are going to be an issue for the top 60+ cm of snow.
Freezing levels rose to about 2500m on Monday and will stay high until the weekend. There may be some heavy, wet fresh snow falling in the super high alpine (anything over 1900m) over the next 3 days (only if freezing levels allow it to turn to snow); but the key words here are heavy and wet.
Always make sure to always check the avalanche reports on avalanche.ca before heading out into the backcountry. Please feel free to write your own report of what you have found and observed out there in the Mountain Information Network (MIN) on their page! This is a great tool to read about what’s been going on in the backcountry.
Reality check: The snow may have gone to shit, but we have been lucky with conditions this season so far and it cant always be rainbows and butterflies. It’s going to get better, don’t worry.
Brohm Squamish – Seeing as I do not head to Brohm to ride very often, Brody Fourchalk will be helping me out with the report for this location through out the season. Parking is back down just off the highway turnoff. This may change with the warming temps and rain on the way. The Black Tusk Club has now started charging for trail fees, help support the club! Grooming is underway.
Brandywine Whistler – People are parking at the bottom. Grooming and trail fee collection is underway. However, it’s still creek-y in the bowl! Those creeks will munch you whole, so watch out! The new road to access Chocolate Bowl is open.
Rutherford Pemberton Ice Cap – The the snowcat is grooming the trail to the cabin every Tuesday and Friday evenings. The Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club is now collecting fees.
The moulin (which claimed a life last season) is wide open just past Appa Lake (before gas drop) and is not roped off. It is right in the middle of the path where people travel. The ground dips down quite a bit before the actual hole, but if you are mock-chickening it there will be no stopping before. The Pemberton Ice Cap is like Swiss cheese, there are MANY moulins and crevasses open and are constantly changing, ESPECIALLY this early in the season. If you are a smart backcountry & glacier traveler then you are aware that these holes are expected and are actually everywhere! Always look in front and travel with caution.
The backcountry is a dangerous place and people shouldn’t expect for things to be marked off like at resorts. Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions back there. Take a crevasse rescue course, be prepared, and ride with people that know the area.
Hurley FSR Pemberton – Parking is at the bottom of the Hurley (9km from the Pemby Meadows turnoff). The Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club will be starting to groom the Hurley in the next couple of weeks. Please purchase your membership to support the Club, or pay the $20 fee at the trailhead. Heads up, a HUGE boulder has slid onto the road at about 34km. Backcounrty Snowcats has marked it off with red fence for safety! Thank you! Heads up as well, their season for cat-skiing has started, so please respect their zone and don’t go sledding there.