Here is a quick news on how it looks for skiing at Duffey Lake area on the West Coast. During the past two weeks I did two trips to Cayoosh area:
- I headed there for a day on Dec 30th, 2009 and the snow coverage was quite good and the quality of snow was good too (at some places even great).
- Then I headed there for a second time for an overnight trip on Jan 9th, 2010 and the conditions were completely different from the previous experience and they are most likely like that even today.
In both cases the visibility was OK below 2000m, above that it was either a whiteout or not even good enough to try go higher.
Conditions as of Jan 10th, 2010 – weather, snow, skiing and avalanchesWeather set it all up and somewhat spoilled a trip for me and my two friends. It was raining lightly all the way up to around 1650m, then it turned to some snow. Even over night almost no crust formed on the surface up to about 1600m. Above that very little.
Visibility was good up to 2000-2100m and there were occasional breaks in the clouds with blue sky and sun peeking through.
Snow was very wet – “late afternoon in May conditions” – up to about 1750m and it was wet down to about 30cm below the surface. The snow was quite moist all the way to 1950m.
There was a small accumulation (2-4cm) of new very moist snow on top of an older thin crust during the two days.
Skiing wasn’t what we expected but all in all…it wasn’t that bad – very warm and wet spring conditions in January.
We didn’t even get on the Armchair Glacier that leads you to Cayoosh Mounatin as the visibility was very poor. But I did not expect skiing to be much better there – drier for sure but very wind affected (as I observed on Dec 30th).
Surprisingly, with this rapid warming trend we didn’t see any avalanche activity whether natural or caused by us or other people. For sure, there were occasional sloughs running from our skis on steep terrain but nothing scary at all.
We did a shovel compression test on N-NE slope at top of the tree line and we didn’t get any results that would make us worry.
So within the elevations we were touring in we skied pretty much anything we wanted and nothing was giving any impressions of instability.
Since pictures tell more than 1000 words here are some more:
Photos taken by Stano and Tomas.
If you have any questions regarding the conditions on those two occasions feel free to ask below. Or report more recent observations for others.