I’m still a bit leary of the snow pack given the fact that more days have been Considerable, High or Extreme than they have been at Moderate or Low during the last month. So as a result, Heather and I continue to explore some lower elevation terrain in the Big Holes.
Yesterday we skied a northeast aspect on Peak 6,848 just north of the Tie Canyon Road on the west side of the Pine Creek Highway. We ran the gamut of conditions on our short approach experiencing rain crust, wind deposition, graupel, and wind slabs. All of these rest on top of well bonded snow and is the obvious first weak layer of the Big Hole snow pack below 7,000 ft. To the southwest I could see obvious crowns on many of the chutes on the northeast face of Stouts Mountain. They looked BIG.
Heather and I skied a nice 30 degree slope that was protected from the wind and offered boot deep powder. We did a few laps then skied back down to the Highway. The sun felt nice but did not cancel out the single digit temps and the 20 mph ridge top winds.