Observations

ART, OG, GoS, GLT, Sherb, TRT, LH, NE SFD, Cog

April 11, 2022 at 9:00 AM
Name: Jonathan S Shefftz| NE Rando Race Series
Location: ART, OG, GoS, GLT, Sherb, TRT, LH, NE SFD, Cog

Route map, pictures, and color commentary posted at:
https://www.strava.com/activities/6967066527

For stability observations and snow coverage notes:
– ART was continuous snow all the way from the trailhead, with just a few evasive maneuvers for exposed water, etc.
– Oakes snowfields from just below Monroe summit ridgeline down until the trees were typical firm windslab, with no signs of instability (although the angle is too moderate to sense instability accurately from just skiing, so could be a deceiving observation).
– Airplane Bowl never really came in this season at all: except for some short narrow snowfields up, the snow is just barely even skinnable through the trees.
– Entered GoS via the no-man’s-land between the Snowfields and Main Gully, then cut left into Main Gully well below the steeper pitches (which are a series of uncovered ice bulges this year), very similar snow cover to two weeks when I took the same route. Stability seemed very good, both within the new snow and with the interface to the old crust.
– Graham Link Trail had surprisingly good cover (both seasonal plus the recent snowfall), although the lack of recent maintenance means the trail is about to disappear in many places amidst the regrowth.
– LH winter route’s exposed rock face is somewhat lengthy and especially interesting with the wet conditions.
– NE Snowfield was Mt W “steel” slab at its most extreme, making for highly challenging skinning even with ski crampons and good technique. When I skied a brief section (after deciding to deskin so as to ski down to a lower point where I could more safely affix crampons, as the established skintrack from earlier in the day had looked deceptively easy upon arrival), I was just skittering along the surface, leaving me to marvel at how skiers in the earlier in the day had left prominent tracks.
– Cog above treeline on the flats skied very nicely, but that snow (from Sunday’s storm) could disappear quickly.
– Cog’s pitches adjacent to Burt Ravine are narrow with occasional rocks poking through, and many no doubt lurking just below the surface, all the way through the buried power line trail.
– Snow cover was then good from Upper Waumbek Switch to about the Waumbek Tank, although that could melt out quickly.
– After that, already no longer skiable, so we had a ~1k vert downhike to the hiker parking lot.