Conditions Report: Coast Mar 8, 2017
Julie-Ann Chapman | On 08, Mar 2017
Photos by Danny Jendral
When I said RESET last week, I meant total reset!!
Holaaaay! Over 110cm has fallen in the Sea to Sky area of the Coast in the past week. It has been EPIC, not only in the Sea to Sky, but most of BC as well!
The fourcast is calling for another 40cm+ in the next 4 days with Friday being the heavy snowfall day. With this epicness, there comes danger as well though. An avalanche took a life in the Sea to Sky area this passed weekend, condolences to his family and friends. Please read on to learn about what the snow is doing…
As far as the snowpack goes, we now have a persistent weak layer lingering down about a meter under all this new snow. This weak layer is not bonding well to the new snow that fell on top of it and is the reactive layer out there right now. And over the next 4 days it will get buried even deeper.
This layer is most reactive in wind-affected areas. The wind hit hard last night (Tuesday night) so be extra cautious of “stiff” snow or wind loaded areas as well as cornices. In the famous words of Joe Lammers “stay conservative when choosing terrain to ride the next week”.
Freezing levels are staying pretty low (300-500m) till the weekend then may rise to as high as 2000m.
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 4km 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. Grooming and trail fee collection is underway.
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 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 Hurley is in pristine shape right now thanks to the Pemby Club for grooming! 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.