I spent the weekend and Monday checking out the snow on the Ancient Energy Accumulator (AEA aka Beeramid), Shadow (GTNP), and Glory (TP). Conditions were variable, but good for the most part, especially on wind-shielded aspects above 7500′.
On Saturday Dani, Maestra, and I dropped N off the NE Ridge of AEA to find perfect creamy pow from 8500-7500. Then we headed back up most of the way and found equally good snow (though not bottomless down low) on the nose of the E ridge.
On Sunday Dani, Ceronsky, and I braved the rain in the valley and headed to GTNP for a look at Shadow. We found good, bottomless, creamy snow top to bottom. It was heavy down low, and saturated/hot to the point of sliding just above the lake but all in all a great day.
On Monday I got called off work so we took the bosses puppy dog Cairo for her first ski on Mt. Glory. We skied gut of First Turn, which was wind-affected to the point of unbreakability in places but smooth and fun. Then we hiked Glory again and skied Coal Creek. It was creamy and smooth on the ridge, powdery in the shady trees, and fast/fun down low until 2/3rds of the way out CC when the snow got crusty and grabby.
I didn’t see any avalanche activity this weekend or today aside from popping off one wet foot crown on the last pitch of Shadow’s NE ridge on Sunday. On the upper flanks of Shadow we stomped on some safe cornices and got one foot slabs to pop at times and another layer a foot deeper to pop occassionally. We were stomping fresh cornices though so it was expected.
I’m late to work so I’d better get going. If I was skiing tomorrow I’d probably head up one of the local passes to avoid the crud down low. It’s pretty wind-affected up high too, so 8500′ might be the magic number. Gotta go.