Skied Dolomite Shoulder today with Kaitlin Paris, Ian MacNairn and Graeme David in stellar weather and on great snow.
We followed a track up to the base of the treeline ridge area where we left it to climb the steeper tree section. Below treeline we found ok skinning conditions but the snow is fairly low at roughly 15-30cm, luckily the crust was on the ground and provided a lot of support. Once on the ridge travel became easy and very supportive. The ridge had 5-10cms of powder over a very firm 5cm thick wind slab that sat over facets/early stage depth hoar. Near the top of the ridge we triggered a remote avalanche of unknown size via a cornice release. Three of us were grouped together on lower angle terrain when we triggered the settlement, I turned around to ask if anyone else heard/felt it and I watched a large overhanging cornice break off over the large steep east aspect. A minute or so later two members saw the powder cloud at the bottom but hard to know what actually went on as this aspect is extremely steep. After another 40m of vertical gain we switched over and skied down along the ridge on the supportive wind slab. We ended up skiing the steeper south east bowl mid way down the ridge where we found supportive powder skiing with no slab/crust. We followed our skin track out over less than ideal snow conditions at treeline but again the crust in the forest below provided great support where the snow depth was lacking.
Beautiful day out there, clear, almost windless (just hints here and there), cold to start but warmer as the day progressed. Other than our remote trigger we noticed some isolated cornice failures which didn’t travel very far. Also found mountain goat, lynx and hare tracks in the area but no actual sightings. The track we followed from the road headed to Puzzle Peak Ramps and looks like they got some excellent turns over there yesterday too!