Welcome snow which fell a few days ago has melted out at lower elevations and corned up nicely in the sun at higher elevations. In the shade at higher elevations conditions are C-R-U-S-T-Y in the breakable sense. All in all the skiing is pretty good, and watching a mountain’s wildlife wake up from the winter is interesting as always.
Today Dani, Maestra, and I busted out the machetes and did a little bushwhacking while ascending a rarely-visited canyon on Ferry Peak. I don’t think it has a name, so throughout this post it will be referred to as the BBCC (Big Bear Crap Canyon) on account of the massive piles of bear crap littering the gut at lower elevations. It appeared as if a family of bears recently awoke –perhaps yesterday or the day before — from their winter slumber and proceeded to void their bowels profusely. Exciting stuff.
We didn’t spot any wildlife aside from curious ravens, but moose and even cat sign was readily apparent in addition to the obvious bear scat.
We found acceptable coverage — but fading fast — from Banana’s trailhead up the WNW slopes of Ferry pretty much top to bottom aside from exposed SSW facing aspects. We had to cross maybe a half dozen small patches of dirt, none of which took more than a few steps, but if these warm temps continue another week there will be a different tale to tell, at least on the lower mountain.
A few days ago the snow was horrendous on all aspects on account of rapid warming after several inches of snow fell. Temps warmed up on Wednesday enough to create a crust layer and on Thursday the sun started converting the sticky pow into corn. It took a good three days of hot temps and heavy sunshine to convert the fresh into the relatively reliable and fun snow we found today. Prior to today it was too sticky on all aspects. Today it was still a little sticky in the shade down low and crusty in the shade up high.
Hopefully it dumps hard soon and overnight lows continue dropping well below freezing to augment and preserve the snowpack we have left.
Ohh yeah, it was a blatantly heavy spray day today too, so I made a video in the parking lot at the Alpine Market before heading out to ski. Here it is…