"Headed out with Joe yesterday and got a good start on clearing blowdown. Where it was required we bucked and hauled all debris off the run. For tree that were sunk in the snowpack we bucked and limbed but left debris on the run. One more snowfall and you will be able to ski over this. Up-track D is clear (as far as Run 4), Run 4 is clear and Run 6 is clear.
Photos of surface hoar indicate full heads up if new snow falls on this.
Brian (Hankin Trailcrew)"
-Text by Brian Hall
"Heres my take on surface hoar. May be interesting to put this on web-site but check my facts. If you don't check my facts we may get some interesting feedback going that will leave everyone enlightened (hopefully).
Surface Hoar: Beautiful, Fun and Spooky
During clear, sunny weather the layer of air above the snowpack warms during the day and holds moisture in the form of vapour. As temperatures drop (late in the day and overnight) the vapour sublimates
(Goes from a vapour to a solid directly - no liquid stage) and forms a point on the snowpack. As this process continues more points attach to the start of the surface hoar and eventually build the feather like flakes we are familiar with. While surface hoar resists change (no tendency to round out and bond) it is easily effected by wind. If undisturbed surface hoar becomes buried by subsequent snowfall it becomes a layer of weakness within the snowpack.
On the surface this crystal is a delight. It sparkles and skiing through deep layers of large crystals produces a tinkly/swishing noise.
With new snow in the forecast keep a heads up for pockets of buried surface hoar. All conditions provide us with great opportunities to learn. Travel safe and enjoy this next weather cycle.
-text by Brian Hall
Note from Admin: As stated above, check your facts. Here are a couple of references to get you started (but seriously, don't take our word for it, look into it yourself!):
- The Avalanche Handbook By David McClung, Peter A. Schaerer (pg 49)
- (US) Forest Service National Avalance Center
-The Canadian Avalanche Centres Report Glossary:
Crystals, often shaped like feathers, spikes or wedges, that grow upward from the snow surface when air just above the snow surface is cooled to the dew point. The winter equivalent of dew. Surface hoar grows most often when the wind is calm or light on cold relatively clear nights. These crystals can also grow during the day on shady slopes. Once buried, layers of surface hoar are slow to gain strength, sometimes persisting for a month or more as potential failure planes for slab avalanches.
If you agree or disagree, let us know in the comments below!
Tales and Ales U-brew will be hosting a wine and cheese night tomorrow Saturday Feb 8. They will have a variety of wines of different ages as well as delicious cheeses to sample. They have been staunch supporters of the Hankin Evelyn rec area so please head on down to drink some free wine and support the community!
They will also be hosting a beer and pretzels event on Mar 15th.
"Yesterday I went up [Elliot] with some friends and since ski conditions we heard were super sketch, we decided to snow shoe/boot it up to the ridge. I decided to bring a hula hoop and other random stuff to add something to our ridge mission. It was a great hike....long though and knowing that going back would take the same energy as going up, no gliding ski action :( , we were super stoked when we got to the ridge and the glorious :) sun was still out and we could wig out and hula hoop on the ridge for some bonus laughs. :) Anyways... The way down turned into a blast and almost as fast as skiing with our Xtreme boot running and chasing a hula hoop down run 9A. But about 2/3 down the run we/I got distracted with boot running and jumping and went right by wherever the hoop landed last, which we all think was on skiers left by or in the trees on a flat bench where the jumps start to pop up more. So by the time I realized the hoop was no longer our focus to run down the mountain it was too far and too late to hike back up to get it. We were already going to be coming out in the dark. Anyways....excuses excuses... I feel bad for leaving my hoop on the run and would go and get it but have to go away to work for the week and am quite tired to hike back up there this early morning. So...I just wanted to let you know that there is a hula hoop up in the mountains and I will go back for it in the spring/summer unless I get back up there before it snows again. I feel bad for leaving my stuff on the run and I hope I don't offend too many by this. If anyone finds it they can put it off to the side on a tree or something and I will get it next time I can get up there which will likely be spring/summer. Or if they want it they can have it. It's nothing special I just feel bad for leaving stuff on the run. Anyways.... I hope you are doing well and enjoying the sunshine :). I trust that snow will come again :) "
- Lisa Perry
"It was -23 at Trout Creek, -16 at Hankin parking lot and -10 at Hankin Hut. Still a bit of an inversion hanging around. Surprisingly good skiing in the meadows above the Lookout. On the way over we stopped at the top of Cardiac Coulior to spot Christian Gagnon on his Run down.
Returned via Idiots up-track and down Run 1. Part of Idiots up-track has slid (maybe during the warm cycle) and ran surprisingly far. Simpsons at the ski area (similar in many ways) has pulled out really big as well. No trees down on Run 1 or on A Trail.
Jon has plowed road and it is in excellent shape.
- Brian Hall
"plowed on Thursday AM for 3 hours. Snow light at the bottom but 12 cm at parking lot - looks sweet on top of the crust."
- Jon Goalder