Route & General Observations
Our route today: Taylor Pass, Pastoral Glacier, Gold Pan, then out over Superbowl past Magnum. We were able to hit many aspects and elevations with only some surface instabilities (sluffs and small slabs) to deal with.
Sunny and beautiful!
Winds were light from the Southwest on the ridgelines
Temps were cold - right around 0F
Snow conditions are quite variable out there. We have been seeing everything from 8-12" of loose faceting snow (from Mar 6/7 and excellent skiing) to hard wind slab and breakable wind crust from the winds on Mar 8-9. Hunting for the dappled surfaces, some call it orange peel, is where the turns are by far the best. Northerly and Easterly aspects harbored the best snow in general.
The main concern for snowpack instabilities is in the 10" of snow from March 6/7 and the strong NW winds on March 8/9 that moved this snow around. Lingering wind slabs are still found in many areas but are locked in - for the most part. We did find a few small plates that broke today with one that propagated from a skier in steep complex terrain about 20' and ran quite far as it entrained loose snow on the descent. Sluffs were prevalent and entraining all the loose surface snow. This made skiing steeper lines not nearly as fun considering they wiped out the good snow by running fast and far. See Trip Kinney's video below.