Rockies: Popes Peak
My party of 3 skied to Popes Peak col today.
We found a very supportive hard crust in the trees through to Narao shoulder on the way up. This crust made terrain feel steeper than usual in this zone and required ski crampons and the occasional boot packing through steps.
Conditions on the rock glacier were similar. The rock step was easy to negotiate and the slopes above to the col had a mix of hard winslab over some hollow sounding areas.
The upper slopes offered some decent skiing on the way down intermingled with some breakable crust lower in the trees. A good place to apply your side slipping techniques.
Around noon we witnessed another party in a Narao NE couloir get caught in an avalanche with suspected trigger from a ridgetop cornice fall. We called Parks Canada to deal with the rescue.
On the upper slopes there was recent evidence of new slides started from steeper terrain. We were cautious in our route selection as conditions still feel unsettled in the Alpine, especially where windloading and wind effect.