Northern Presi Update

March 22, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Name: Ryan DeLena
Location: Jefferson Ravine, Castle Ravine

Snow was a mixed bag on Jefferson today with few lines leading to uniform turns. I tried to stay off of eastern and southern aspects as much as possible to avoid possible wet slab problems. The snow in Pipeline and Activator was already wet on the top few centimeters at 9am, suggesting it would have likely been sloppy by mid day. I continued over to Jefferson and skied The Beach to Stealth Gully. Stealth Gully hadn’t corned up at all except for a handful of turns on the left side of the lower gully, where the aspect of the micro terrain changes slightly, but for the most part was unaffected by the sun as of 11:30. The Jefferson Headwall was already sun baked by the time I got there. I booted up a gully in the right side of the Headwall for a quick exit, the a few natural roller balls came off some steep, snowy cliffs on the left side of the Headwall, something you don’t see in the skier compacted areas much. I traversed over to Castle next and skied Twisted Sister. Despite a warm ambient temp, the snow in there was a bone dry mix of soft, unreactive windslab and suncuped ice. Even the lower part of the line which was in the sun saw no softening. South Sister was all sun cups and did not appear to be softening from below. I found a few spots with breakable crust on the way back up. But for 99% of the time it was supportable. My main takeaways: 1. what I found seems to confirm the forecast in that NW-NE slopes are generally lacking wet snow problems, while E-W facing slopes were seeing a lot of water penetrating into the snowpack. 2. Slopes that aren’t seeing skier compaction are getting roller balls (also confirming the forecast) so in these next few hot days, sticking to more traveled slopes might be safer than skiing wet, trackless slopes just waiting for a trigger. 3. Castle Ravine didn’t get much sun and the sun it did get did virtually nothing, wait for a super warm ambient temp to venture out that way.