Route & General Observations
Toured to the end of Center Ridge and then into the basin SW of Kickstep to about 3000 ft. Then back up Center Ridge, and skied the west aspect into Lyon Creek (good skiing!). Skinned out Lyon Creek, which went much more smoothly than expected. Alders are finally laying down!
Obvious signs of instability
|Recent Avalanches?||No||Collapsing (Whumphing)?||Yes||Cracking (Shooting cracks)?||No|
We got a single whumph on the NE aspect of Center Ridge past the "end" at about 2300 ft (near Kickstep Glacier).
Saw a large debris pile on the NE side of Sunburst, I'm assuming from the 12/30 storm (see photo). The SW face of Kickstep slid sometime recently, with various crowns visible and debris in the valley. Various crowns visible on the NE aspect of "Tincan Peak Ridge" and debris in the valley.
Clear skies, calm to light winds, dramatic inversion.
Holy surface hoar (see photos)! Massive surface hoar crystals observed below about 1500 ft. Above that, soft settled powder (good skiing) transitioning to wind affected, variable snow atop Center Ridge, primarily on NE aspects. In the basin SW of Kickstep, there was remarkably little snow (bare tundra in places), and horrendous wind affect.
Did several hand pits. The only thing of note was that a) the snowpack was surprisingly thin everywhere (often less than a ski pole deep), and b) the snow pack is pretty "bottomless", with a distinct layer of depth hoar just about everywhere.