Getting crazy around here! | Mountain Sledder
Surface hoar is formed from a combination of cold, clear nights with very little to no wind. When this happens moisture gets sucked out of the snow pack and freezes on the snow surface. Feathery formations begin to grow and this is what we know as suface hoar. It is one of the most beautiful things you can find in the backcountry while is remains on the surface, however once it is burried another story develops. The layer becomes what many people refer to as “marbles” or “ball bearings” as more snow falls on top. Once the snow pack reaches critical mass, or you add a trigger of some kind (whether it be human or natural) this layer will collapse known as a “pop” or a “drop” type failure. These tend to be the most dangerous of failures and often lead to large slab avalanches due to their propagation tendencies. Right now in the Purcel Mountain Ranges, as well as Glacier National Park reaching as far as Revelstoke and Sicamous this layer is promanent. It is the time to be careful out there even in the trees! Play safe have fun and enjoy the new snow and make sure you and your friends come home!