Conditions Report: Coast Mar 29, 2017
Julie-Ann Chapman | On 29, Mar 2017
Rider: Cody Mcnolty in Pemberton BC on March 26
Yup spring has arrived! We are losing snow pretty quickly in the valley now, but the alpine conditions around the coast are still killer. Freezing levels are rising but it’s been staying cool above 1600m the past couple of days and will continue to sit around that level.
Looks like were getting more snow up top today (about another 10cm,) then the sun looks like she wants to poke out a bit for the next couple days (more like a mixed bag of everything; sun patches, isolated flurries… Exactly what film crews want… Not! Seems that every film crew and their entourage is here in the Sea-to-Sky right now and they are constantly playing the “hurry up and wait light game” in between clouds).
As far as the snowpack goes, there was a melt freeze crust that formed last week and we have about 15-20cm of new storm snow sitting on top of this. This layer is the most reactive problem now. Something to take note of as well was the amount of high winds in the alpine on Tuesday. This is making the existing cornices quite sensitive. Don’t stand on them on hang below a slope with hangfire!
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: Spring is here. Freezing levels are rising so start to brace yourself to put your trucks through a beating getting to the snow line as the season comes to an end. If you have a trailer you may want to get a sled deck to be able to get to snow line or get yourself some new skis and scags! Snow is still epic up top! Get up there!
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 at around 5km – 8km up the road, with some ice on the road, so be careful. The Black Tusk Club has now started charging for trail fees, help support the club! Grooming is underway. It was raining at the cabin today.
Brandywine Whistler – People are parking at the bottom. The bottom lot is almost done so people will start having to park on the road up soon. Grooming and trail fee collection is still underway.
Rutherford Pemberton Ice Cap –The Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club will do its best to push the snow off the road fully so people can start to park at the 2km parking lot. The snowcat is grooming the trail to the cabin every Tuesday and Friday evenings. As warm temperatures set in, the “whooped out conditions” happen a lot quicker with lots of snowmobile traffic, please be award of this. The Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club is 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 – The Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club will do its best to push the snow off the road up to the 10km lot this week. There will still be ice on the road so be aware if you are driving up passed the gravel. As warm temperatures set in, the “whooped out conditions” happen a lot quicker with lots of snowmobile traffic, please be aware of this. Future plans are to groom on Thursday and Monday evenings as donations & membership budgets permit. Please purchase your membership to support or donate the $20 at the trail! 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.