Confessions Of A Ski Bum

93N New Years Eve/Day

Spent the last two days up the 93N. Yesterday was at Helen Shoulder lapping the roadside glades with Joel Fletcher-Hagen, Josee Richard, Kat McCallum, Nicky Winn and Anna Elkins. Today did a quick lap on Crystal Ridge to just below the summit with Anna Elkins.

Josee shredding the pow as per usual

Both days were about the same for weather: sunny, windless and warmer as you went up. Today the clouds started to roll in mid day though. Snow at treeline and down to the highway was about the same in both areas, maybe a bit more supportive in the Helen Shoulder area. The broken glades in the Crystal Ridge area, above the Helen Lake summer trail, were more filled in than normal for this time of year but the boulder fields still look too thin to play in just yet. The alpine areas at Crystal Ridge have seen their fair share of wind but you can still find pockets of powder snow here and there. We saw the old avalanche that was reported this week and we talked to a group of 2 as we came out to the road that said another group had remote triggered an avalanche but we never saw it on our big loop of the area. Avalanches in the area shouldn’t surprise anyone considering how the snowpack is sitting in the area, airy facets on ground, settling midpack and lots of powder snow load on top. In the alpine we found the same thing but with a very dense windslab that cracked up and settled almost everywhere we went. No wonder the forecasters have put this next storm’s danger rating at Extreme/High for Friday‚Ķ

Anna getting the views on New Years day

Lots of skin and ski tracks in both areas but still plenty of room for more but as this next storm comes in all bets are off, time to watch even small packages and overhead danger that may be far out of sight.

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