Forums Current Conditions Montana SW Montana Conditions 2011/2012
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  • #575360
    samh
    726 Posts

    Snow up in them thar hills today.

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    samh.net

    #644642
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Yes there is! Thanks for starting this thread Sam! Here’s a photo from Allenspur of the first major snow on Emigrant Peak this year:

    #644643
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Couple more (Blackmore and Gallatin Peaks) for stoke purposes…. it’s coming!

    Anyone been up there yet?

    #644644
    samh
    726 Posts

    I was just looking at your Flickr page earlier and checking these photos an hour or so ago. Not been up there yet – – waiting ’til the time is right to be honest with you. I’m thinking of building up a “rock splitboard” this year but if I do it won’t be ready until the 2012 season so for now I chill.

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    samh.net

    #644645
    lifelinksplit
    282 Posts

    went up camping at emerald lake two weekends ago(opening day of rifle) and was pretty surprised how much snow was up there. had been consolidated and windblown but coulda got some decent turns on the apron above heather lake if i would have brought the board(d’oh). did run into a older fellow with tele gear heading in on sunday as we headed out. oh and had some of the strongest wind all night that i have seen in a long time, it even bent my poles on my new sierra design tent since i was too lazy to reposition/guy out(was flattening my buddies kelty though). anyways should be here soon :drool:

    #644646
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Wow. Crazy there hasn’t been a post on this thread in a month. I’ve been super busy with school and haven’t made it out too much locally (uninspired as well I guess). Have been doing some exploratory stuff near Targhee Pass recently, finding a slightly deeper pack with a decently supportable base. Got some ECT action on some ground-level facets once the pack deepened around 8000′ on a NE facing slope. I suspect they’ll be touchy for a while.
    Managed to have some fun anyway. Still a bit brushy down low.


    #644647
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Guess I’ll keep this thread alive, though there’s not much new to report w/ our snowpack here in SWMT. Made it down south of Lionhead again in an attempt to find some more easy access long low angle descents, which will become a hot commodity once the weak, faceted snowpack receives a substantial load.
    Zone we explored:

    I know it’s a skier… but at least it’s a conditions report and not a TR!

    Found a gnarly, thin, pencil-hard windslab layer on an E-NE aspect about 2″ below the surface that capped facets below and provided an excellent planar bed surface for everything above. Not much energy in the pack currently (only about 30cm deep @ 8k’ in that area), but when anything substantial loads on top of it, watch out!
    Checked out a zone near Bacon Rind the next day and found a similar structure and depth but w/out the gnarly windslab. Like the avy guys said, facets make for great riding conditions.
    Anyone else been riding?

    #644641
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Shredded near Rock Creek & Red Lodge in the Beartooths this weekend. Though it’s out of their area, the GNFAC advisory could apply here as well. Almost identical situation to the Madison Range stuff I toured on the previous weeks, with 2-3′ of facets on the ground, no significant “weak layer” (it’s all one big weak layer), and varying coverage/supportability. Pretty sad situation around here. Still got a faceshot or two though, and explored some rad new zones.

    #644648
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    Thanks for the updates Nick. I was riding a small east facing slope in the northern Gallatins this weekend, about 7,400 ft. Yep, it’s just like reported on the avy report all facets, little depth. It was ok riding in the grassy areas but the trees need another 2 or 3 feet before you can start ignoring stumps etc.

    I agree, this season, long low angled slopes are probably going to be pretty well sought after. Unless of course we get a HUGE avy cycle that rips out all the crap, followed by another real good storm.

    On a positive note, Bridger was actually worth every bit of the $20 I spent there yesterday. North facing terrain was pretty good, especially stuff on the north side of any trees. Exit Chute was a blast. The High-T was… interesting.

    #644649
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Merry Christmas Montanans! Spent 12/23 in the Henry’s Lake Range on the way down to visit the fam in Jackson.
    One of my favorite zones:

    This area received maybe 2-5″ (we were at about 8k’) and it definitely wasn’t bonding well to the underlying facets. Not enough of a load to really worry about yet though.
    Quite shreddable:

    On another note, made some afternoon Hyalite laps last week and had a blast! Probably 15″ @ History Rock and certainly best turns of the season so far.

    #644650
    samh
    726 Posts

    Got out and rode History Rock last week. It looked like a lift-serviced run it has been hit so hard. Anyway, felt good to be back on the board having not ridden since June.

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    samh.net

    #644651
    samh
    726 Posts

    Just an FYI, Scrubfest is going to be held up in the Bozeman area this winter. PM me if you’re interested.

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    samh.net

    #644652
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    That’s funny you say that about History Rock Sam- I was about to post the exact same thing, almost verbatim. I’ve been up there every afternoon this week post work. Still riding fairly well though (for a bump run). Looks like that might change tonight!

    #644653
    samh
    726 Posts

    Damn straight all is changed. Never seen so many HIGH avalanche danger notes in one avy report before!

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    samh.net

    #644654
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Well I figured I should make the first post of 2012 to document yet more crappy conditions.
    Spent the weekend touring in the Beartooths near Red Lodge again. Saw some older slab avalanche activity and even some major
    wetslide activity on a SE facing slope!
    Big crown above Misery Bowl which we’d ridden a couple weeks earlier (on 2′ of facets!):

    Wet slides in another cirque further south:

    Text from the adventure if anyone cares: http://mtsplitski.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/more-beartooths-hellroaring-silver-run/
    We did surprisingly find some good powderlike snow on a sheltered, lower elevation n/ne aspect the next day.
    Other than after work History Rock tours in the late PM, I haven’t toured in Bozeman since early Dec!
    Lots of travel w/ the holidays. Anyone getting out around Bozeman (or elsewhere)?

    #644655
    samh
    726 Posts

    Rode Lick Creek this weekend. There’s so little snow up there that there’s hardly enough for a slab to even be sitting atop a weak layer. The skinning and the turns felt good regardless.

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    samh.net

    #644657
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Cold be damned, I finally found some time for a bigger tour on Saturday up below Hyalite Peak. Things were definitely stabilizing up there and quality was maintaining so well. However, the summit shut me out once again due to some touchy windslabs in the exposed n/ne facing zone on the peak. On a representative slope, we got an ECTP 16 Q1 breaking on small facets about 60-70cm down! Yikes. Still, managed some awesome fun riding on blower pow.
    Lapped the heck out of the slopes below the headwall, which are sheltered enough and offer up some seriously fun terrain. Plenty of rock jibs and natural halfpipes.
    Photos and words for anyone inclined: http://mtsplitski.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/hyalite-creek/ or a TR here on the site.

    #644658
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Did a quick History Rock lap b/w classes today. Lots of windloading going on on E and NE aspects (like the meadows).
    Seemed to be bonding relatively well. Conditions were fun and creamy.

    #644659
    samh
    726 Posts

    @nickstayner wrote:

    … 16 Q1 breaking on small facets about 60-70cm down!…

    That is quite the slab, jeez.

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    samh.net

    #644660
    nickstayner
    700 Posts

    Spent the weekend down in the mountains around West. Tons o new snow resting atop an extremely weak and faceted snowpack (no surprise there!).
    Sunday, though, things had gained a surprising amount of strength since Saturday.
    Found this little avy in the trees. Steep rollover next to some rocks.

    How was your weekend Sam?

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