Sunday, November 20, 2011

First Friday Skiing

Posted By on Sun, Nov 20, 2011 at 1:47 PM

After the week's prolific round of storms, it was essential to get out and start breaking some trail. So we headed to our favorite beargrass slopes near Lost Trail Pass for a reconnaissance trip.

Early Season Powder skiing

What we found exceeded expectations as we broke trail on a supportive base covered with some fresh light powder on top. The depth varied around two feet. We skied about 2000 vertical in the intermittent snow squalls, never hit any rocks or stumps on the open slopes and watched the dogs wallow through deep snow struggling.

Saturday was out for us, but I did receive a report of good skiing conditions in the central Bitterroots with supportive snow and up to four feet of it above 8000'. A word of caution! During our tour on Friday and the report from Saturday, there was widespread cracking of the snowpack noted to the ground, and there were a couple ground releases on the steep, north facing slopes above the highway on the approach to LT pass. Stick to mellower slopes under 30 degrees as the old dry faceted snow at the bottom of the pack adjusts to the heavy slab on top of it. Not only do you not want to go for an avalanche ride but a conscientious skier does everything to leave the snow on the slope rather than release it back to the ground which will require another round of storms to cover up the rocks and stumps!


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