Conditions Report: Coast Feb 9, 2017
Feb 8, south of Whistler. Rider: Julie-Ann Chapman Photo: Russ Mclaughlin
Old man winter strikes again.
These cycles of dumps followed by sunshine; holayyyyy we are lucky! With luck comes being snow smart, so please play safe out there! We received some good amounts of snow over the weekend, about 50-70cm in Whistler and a less in Pemberton: only about 30cm. And… we’re about to get hit by another mega dump!
As far as the snowpack goes, the new snow from last weekend fell on a wind and sun-affected layer (which is not the friendliest snow crystals to bond to). On top of this, Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty windy in the alpine. We have about 70cm forecasted for the next 3 days and freezing level rising to about 1700m on Thursday. The mountains will be shedding. Hopefully all naturally, but for those that haven’t slid, be wary! I would be extra cautious of wind-loaded slopes, slopes with hangfire above such as cornices, concave unsupported slopes, and big slopes. Play in simple, fun terrain until the storm settles over the weekend!
Always make sure to always check the avalanche reports on Avalanche Canada 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: Enjoy the goods, but play safe!
Freezing levels are expect to start rising to about 1700m on Thursday and will be dropping back down by Sunday, and may rise back up after.
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. 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.