Needless to say, the last storm cycle has made backcountry conditions a bit dicey. Saturday, Kevin, Mike, Riley, Kodi, and I headed up to the Teton Pass Ski Resort to check out conditions for ourselves. Natural slides are evident everywhere. We didn’t find any obvious signs of instability like you would expect under these conditions. No cracking, whumping, or collapsing of any kind. This matches what we’ve been hearing, that deep hard slides are occurring with no warning. The crowns we saw in the area ranged from 3-5 feet and there is lots of evidence of highly destructive slides.
We talked to one person who had investigated an old sliding surface in Moose Brush Bowl to see if the new wind-blown snow was bonding the old surface. He didn’t think any good bonding was happening, which means the “reset” button we’ve been hoping for with all this natural activity may not be occuring. It’s looking like it could be a long winter.
But the skiing was fantastic. Lots of new, powdery snow and the best turns of the season. We just had to pass up lots of promising looking lines.
Not a lot of great pictures, but my camera was being cranky in the cold.