Pemberton Icefield + Spearhead Range
Spent the last 4 days in the high alpine near Whistler.
-There is 1.5-2.5m of seasonal snow in the alpine areas of the Pemberton Icecap, Spearhead Range and Mt. Ipsoot. This decreases dramatically with elevation.
-Glaciers are poorly covered with lots of open cracks. This is especially shocking in the Spearhead Range near Blackcomb where folks can be pretty lax about glacier travel. The Spearhead Glacier is very boney with many large open crevasses directly in the classic lines. Getting to Husume or Corona involves threading the needle between open crevasses.. Decker N. Glacier is an open icefall. Blackcomb glacier looked pretty tracked up from the above and the creek below was still open.
-Medium to Large surface hoar has formed at most of the elevations and aspects observed since Dec 1st. SH was larger and more prevalent in the Pemberton Icecap and Mt. Ipsoot areas than in the Spearhead. Yesterday's winds would have redistributed some, but it was still obvious up high in the Phalanx area today. Surface snow has been faceting.
-Moderate to strong outflow winds occurred yesterday building soft windslabs in the alpine. This was also observed more in the Pemberton Icecap + Ipsoot areas than in the Spearhead.
The Good News:
-Surface snow is skiing great in the alpine. The upper snowpack is nice and soft above a consolidated and supportive mid-pack. The surface facets and surface hoar make for great skiing and 'loud powder'. Skiing is very rewarding at the right elevations. Photo is from the Pemberton Icecap on Sunday.
Enjoy the sunshine and mild temps.