Skied into Flute Oboe area. E facing slope just outside ski area boundary @ Lesser Flute was windhammered. Crossed over to SE facing slope which had better snow - HS 170cm. Hard result @ ~ 35 and 65 cm resistant planar. Snow pack was uniformly dense below top 20cms showing right-side up characteristics. 28 degree, minus 14 air temp, ~ 1940m, clear skies, winds light from N - NW.
Decomposing facets ~ 1.5 - 2mm grains close to surface on top of ice crust- possibly Dec 6th layer. Stability was Good to Very Good on particular SE and E aspects.
Cowboy Ridge is sun-affected per another group that went there. Lesser Flute and Flute in the area boundary has pretty bold lines and looks like it's been gang-banged.
Top 20cms was Fist 1F snow -fast, good powder skiing
Overall things are settling down buuuuuuuuttt
1) it looks like its still pretty easy to trigger slides off rocky start zones (from looking at natural slides and presence of facets still @ surface)
2) Snowpack is well below last 3 years pack in Flute Oboe area
3) N winds swirl around a lot in the Oboe Creek drainage so wind transport is pretty random. You have to pay pretty close attention to aspect to get good skiing
4) It's nice to know what the area looks like in summer so that you have some idea of where the snow tends to blow and what the ground surface is like. I know that doesn't help anyone other then travellers familiar with the terrain so take it fwiw.
Pictures of recent slides - natural off Oboe ridge initiating on rocks at rocky ridge
Took this shot of the slide from two weeks ago. Not much action in terms of new snow since then
Cool - we were just up there drooling over the Flute bowl. The avy danger was still considerable and the Symphony lift wasn't open yet, though some stuff off Harmony Bowl opened up. We had to leave Saturday, and I knew we just missed getting the goods. Way to get it
There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty." - Theodore Roosevelt