Backcountry Skiing

End of November

The end of November is finally giving us enough flotation to keep away from rocks (well mostly) and trees (once I learn to steer again). There were reports of avalanches last weekend, which you can still see under 6-12" of new snow and wind deposits. 

Where'd the fluffy stuff go?   Backcountry skiing at Cameron Pass, early season, December 2016

Where'd the fluffy stuff go? 

Backcountry skiing at Cameron Pass, early season, December 2016

But the snow is skiing nice! Watch for rocks as always early season, it's not time to let 'er rip quite yet. I wish I had a pic of the core shot to prove who won the "find the first rock" contest. 

Lots of sugar down there.   Cameron Pass early season, December 2016 snowpit

Lots of sugar down there. 

Cameron Pass early season, December 2016 snowpit

The new snow is sitting on the early season sugar, proof again that the more things change the more they stay the same. I suspect that the slides from last weekend slid on the early season snow. How long will it take before this layer isn't a problem anymore?  I hate to say it, but maybe April.

Choosing to boot when the skin track has been partially blown away!  December 2016 Cameron Pass Backcountry Skiing Conditions

Choosing to boot when the skin track has been partially blown away!

December 2016 Cameron Pass Backcountry Skiing Conditions

We had the mountain to ourselves, but it's always good to remember that people are jonesin' to hit some pow (and likely rocks) this time of year. Choose your ascent and descent routes based on your own goals and comfort level, no need to follow others' tracks if you don't like how they look or where they go. Your inner voice might be the biggest factor in keeping you safe this winter.