Words By: Simon Coward
This past Monday we decided to break the early season trend of hitting up the icefields parkway and went for an explore back behind Lake Louise. We had heard of some nice turns being had in the past week at Surprise Pass so figured that we might go for a little explore on the other side of the valley. With the early season low elevation access/egress challenges with lack of low elevation snow, it was nice to use a well traveled trail to gain elevation. It was, by far the easiest ski in/out we have had this season.
We climbed to just shy of 2700 metres and found wind affected snow at ridge top and supportive dry snow below that. As you will see in the video one of our ski cuts at the top of our run produced a fast but short lived (petered out as the angle backed off below 30 degrees) Size 1 surface sluff. This seemed to be a soft wind slab sitting on an older harder wind slab. Ina bigger/steeper feature it could definitely gain some mass and speed.
The riding, weather and views were amazing, and being able to see your lines from the carpark is always a treat. In this valley, right now, without some kind of trail access, lower elevation travel would be really kinda miserable!
I hope you enjoy the video and that everyone is getting some great early season riding/skiing in.
Make sure to check out avalanche.ca for more info on conditions and Mountain Information Network Quick Reports, there seems to be lots of people posting on that site now.