January 18

I ascended Toledo Bowl and descended Holy Toledo

continuing over the power line ridge into main Cardiff.

Ascended the spur between Georges and High Ivory to the ridge continuing up and descending High Ivory from the shoulder to the flats.

Ascended a similar route back to the ridge and descended lower East Mineral continuing out Mineral Fork.


Overcast and windy, beginning the day. Winds from the south. Snow began around noon continuing, heavy at times though the rest of the day. Winds changed to the northwest at about 15-30mph.


There was a couple of inches high density snow at the start. Some of this had blown around forming drifts of up to about six inches. These were localized, however some appeared active and were sitting on lighter density snow. The new snow was of a light density. The wind affected this forming inversions within the snow and there were active shallow soft slabs of four inches or so in the afternoon. There was also a bit of sluffing.
Perhaps eight inches had fallen by the end of the day.

A face shot from Lower Mineral.

Photo courtesy Timothy Walton who's description of the day is here

Bottom Line:

Snow has several layers with potential hazard with continued load. None of these appear to be faceted so, the hazard may be short lived. I’d expect more instability at upper elevations than mid and lower because of higher snowfall and higher wind speed.

January 19

Started at lower Solitude and ascended to the top of Willow traversing over and descending from the skier’s left shoulder of South Monitor. Ascended the southeast facing and descended from the top, down the middle. Ascended once again traversing over to West Monitor and descending from the top, down the middle to the flats Ascended and descended the skier’s right to the flats Ascended and descended Will’s Hill continuing down past the Beaver Ponds and out Willow.


Partial clearing on the morning ascent with overcast and instability showers the rest of the day. Cool temperatures, with winds less than 15mph.


There was about a foot of light density snow over a mostly spongy wind crusted base. That crust was quite firm near the ridges. There was an additional couple of inches of very light density snow during the day. The snow was stable with nothing more than some short running sluffs on steeper hills to worry about.

Bottom Line:

Snow is stable. Concerns would be if the wind picked up or the sun comes out.



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