Spent the last two days skiing the Hector South Ridge area. Yesterday was with Kaitlin Paris where we spent the day working on skills and lapping powder. Today Fred Heikoop, Briony Williamson and Rob Mazc spent the day skiing downhill in near whiteout conditions and skinning uphill in the sun.
Both days we skied 3 laps in South Bowl and finished by going to the highpoint above the bowl and skiing the 850-900m run all the way back to the road. Conditions were roughly the same both days but the snow in the bowl the first day was a bit drier and skied faster. There was widespread feather surface hoar on the first day, while today I couldn’t find any (even in a quick pit we dug), I suspect the winds had their way with it last night. The snow leading up to the highpoint is a mix of firm windslab and loosely wind packed powder (transport), it skis ok for the most part, usually this slope is mostly ice and rock so with that in mind it’s in great shape. High treeline shaded slopes had some excellent skiing/snow but I would be nervous going into the steeper shaded features in the area, we stayed in lower angle rolling/broken slopes for these turns. From mid treeline and below the skiing gets sporty as the snowpack thins, again the on ground crust in the forest is a life saver for access/exit so far this year. Some parties might feel better skinning back down the last 200m to the road in the current conditions.