>Yesterday, The Three Amigo’s (Chad Sr., Justine, and yours truly) headed up Dry Ridge to check out some terrain on the north side Dry Ridge just to the west of the Crow’s Nest. We found some cool terrain and plenty of snow coverage at 8,000 feet and above. We also found variable snow conditions depending on aspect… go figure!
We dug a pit on a northeast aspect at 8,810 – photo below. There are two rain crusts; one from a week ago and is about 1/8 of an inch thick. About two inches of new light snow on top of this. Below the top rain crust is a a 3 inch layer of crud, facets, and hail stones. This lies on top of the rain crust from early November. This crust was 1.25 inches thick and sits on top of more crud and sugar snow. On the approach we were able to get the top layer of wind deposition to slide on last weeks rain crust. The crowns averaged 4 to 8 inches. Area’s not effected by the winds would take a very large trigger to get things sliding on the lower crust. All in all, a dreary outlook for this winters snow pack.
We skied a semi steep east-northeast slope that offered fun nature made bumps. The rain crust does a very good job at keeping you and your skis off of the obvious talus below the snow. Fat skis rule in variable conditions!
We skied a second slope that faced Northwest. Again, great coverage, fun terrain and variable snow. A few more inches of snow and the rain crust from last week will not be a factor in riding conditions, but will increase the potential for avalanches.
We skinned back up to Dry Ridge from South Badger Creek. It was fun to see Chad and Justin smiling and then to notice i was too. We had a blast. The snow could have been better, but we had skis on, slid down hill, and made some turns. I’m not gonna complain! As we skinned west back to the sled, the sunset lasted nearly a half hour. It was like skiing into heaven. Amazing!