Back at Balu Pass

Today I went out with a friend, Bryan, to Balu Pass in Roger's Pass. The weather had been snowy and windy and the north face of Mt. Cheops was shooting size two avalanches as we skied by, uphill, on the other side of the valley, hugging the safety of the trees. We could hear the avalanches before we could see them since the visibility was poor.

Given the touchy conditions and what the visitor center called "a very reactive layer" in the snow pack, we played it safely. We skied up to Balu Pass (5 km / 700 m from car), picked our line down a descent that was less than 30 degrees steep and came down safely.

During snow tests, a simple shear test revealed no sudden results in the upper snow pack where we skied. There was maybe 25 cm of storm snow on top. Skiing in that snow was a little tricky because it had quite a lot of drag, probably because it was forming a soft slab.

It was very windy at the top and the gusts were strong. Proper winter conditions!







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