Anna and I headed out to Observation Peak after seeing some posts of “better than expected” snow for the area. I was still skeptic about what we would find but sure enough “better than expected” was still what we found. In fact I would go as far as saying that the skiing currently found there is very good, better than any October on that side of the highway for me at least.
We drove up to Bow Summit to turn around and parked about half way down the hill. Saw a very large group getting ready to poach the Bow Summit closure area. We followed the skin track through the forest and to treeline where snow depths of 60-70cm started showing up. The lower forest is very thin but thanks to a rain event there is a firm ice crust and it has made travel both up and down acceptable.
We stopped going up around 2300-2350m and dug a quick pit. 105cm HS, bottom half was 1 finger, top was 4 finger to fist. The top 2-5cm was starting to show signs of slabbing up from the wind. The skiing was excellent in the drainage feature all the way to the forest. Even once in the forest the skiing was good due to the ice crust that is present.
Today felt like mid-winter, -12C at the car, colder in the low alpine and very windy at times. Lots of snow transport! Some areas are bare while a few meters over is 1m+ deep. The trick right now is finding those sweet spots while keeping an open mind about thick/thin and wind slab issues for avalanche concern.