Craig's Report - November 26, 2004

The Griz Stays High and Crusty

Yep, the last couple of days saw the upper mountain get another healthy helping of crust, while those of us dwelling in the valley just got a soaking. A kayak would have seemed more appropriate than skis in my front yard yesterday. :-( To add insult to injury, the temperature finally fell just as the precipitation stopped and this morning dawned pleasantly crisp and mainly clear, revealing that once again only trees above about Trespass Trail were treated to new white coats.

A vanishingly thin crust starts just above the base area and slowly thickens to perhaps a couple of centimetres at the base of the Bear Express and a few centimetres at the Bear's Den. Above that the base thickens rapidly to, according to the patrol I met up there, 77 cm at the snow plot on upper Bear. I would actually have guessed more since the coverage seems pretty good up there.

I was rather glad to hear the patroller's snow machine coming up Tower Six road, for I had been slogging up Sun Up and Bear to avoid any possible slide paths. The crust would usually support my weight, but post holing knee deep or better was not uncommon and I was concerned that heading down in this would leave me with knees that flexed in ways never intended. The fact they felt comfortable out in the bowl and volunteered that they weren't going to be doing any shooting meant I could follow their trail back down.

Now a combination of natural wussiness and slim avalanche prediction skills may make me particularly cautious about slides, but I couldn't help wondering if the numerous people I encountered on the way down through Lizard Bowl really knew anymore than I did. True the folks following the snowmobile path could rationalise that it suggested safety, but I had to wonder about the folks who chose to climb right up one of the main gullies below Easter Bowl and the fellow who had never been up the hill before and didn't know where the top was.

At 16:10 it is -1 C on the porch and mainly clear.

The top of Bear with a solitary track in the thin loose stuff on top of the crust.

The dramatic shift from dark to white trees in Currie Bowl is evident in this shot from the ski hill road.

Looking down China Wall.

On Sun Up under the Bear Express chair.

The view from the top of the right hand side of Sunnyside.

The Bow trees already look pretty tasty - just pretend it is actually soft.

Bow, Arrow and Sunnyside in this look across Lizard.

The Saddles from about Cascade.

Looking across Bow and up Arrow to the top of the Bear Chair.

Bear from the Bear's Den with an impromptu jump and rail in the foreground. Too bad they left the bench to freeze in or even become cat chow if more snow had fallen.