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Southeast Bowl of Cayoosh Mountain - Again
Timestamp Free: 2020.07.10 - 06:12:32
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Lillooet Ranges / Cayoosh Range / Cayoosh Range West
  (1 days)
Participants: Don Heppner; Kevin Titus; Mitch Sulkers
Difficulty: 2: Moderate ski touring; route does pass through avalanche terrain.
Snow observations and skiing conditions in the Southwest Bowl of Cayoosh Mountain.
The promise of a breaking sky, more stable snowpack conditions, and less ski penetration that during the last coupla weeks drew us back to Cayoosh with a view to making somewhat better turns than during our last visually-impaired survival turnfest. As promised, the sky tried to let more light through as the day progressed, and by 2:00 p.m. there was perfect visibility for the downward bound.

A hasty pit at about 1800 metres on a north facing roll showed an overall snow depth of about two metres. (This area gets a lot of wind scouring as it is just below a ridge that is at right angles to the prevailing winds from the Lillooet River Valley). Next to ground was a layer of facets overlain by the November 17 raincrust, which at 40cm above the ground was deteriorating at this site. From the top of the raincrust to 55cm below the surface the snowpack had consolidated very nicely, with no outstanding crusts, lenses, or other features readily identifiable. This strongly bridged snowpack was nearly isothermal and well-bonded. Above the Christmas inversion layer, less consolidated, more recent storm snow provided a hard sheer at 55cm from the surface and a moderately easy sheer at 15cm from the surface. This top level sheer didn't seem to be creating any problems naturally, althought there was avalanche debris from the previous storm cycle at the bottom of the east-facing ridge that descends from Cayoosh Peak itself--a ridge that gets serious cross-loading during most storms.

Skiing quality varied, depending on elevation, aspect, and terrain features. Kevin found some very good snow just under the gendarme on the southeast ridge of Cayoosh, then moderately good snow in a gentle gully just leeward (north) of the next peaklet on the southeast ridge of Cayoosh. At 2000 metres,...

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