January 9, 2019
Solo mission up Mennehaha!! And I got a sled bump!! I did not even have to skin to the first switch back and got a ride up to the basin! Tossed my skins back on and finished up the last pitch to the top! I dug around in the snow when I got up there. Dug a pit and realized I did not have my saw with me when I went to cut an ECT. Still great studying the snow pack! 35cm of new snow from the storm! A group of snowmobilers showed up as I was finish the pit so I boogied up to the drop in zone to get me some fresh tracks! Made my transition up top and talked with the group before I dropped in. Good to see the Respect Hut guys up there! Also a group of workers, MountainStudiesInstitute.org, were up there doing some snow science and checking the weather station. There is a weather station down the ridge a bit past the abandoned cabin. They ask to PLEASE not walk in the areas they have roped off. I dropped into the pillows just past the saddle and before the abandoned cabin. It was sick as fuck!! Totally untouched all the way to the bottom!! Lots of pillows in those trees! Skied down past the halfway point and dropped into the last option to the road. Also totally untouched!!! So much fun!!! The pillows that form over the mining stuff at the end of that shot are in!!! I love Mennehaha! I do not care what anyone says about this zone. The amount of people, the tracks, the snowmobiles, whatever the hate may be…. This is some of the best tree skiing in the world!!!!! Back down in Durango! Sold my bike, restocked on groceries, and picked up my new ski poles and snow pants! Headed back up to Silverton tomorrow!
Mennehaha Basin area. No new snow. Overcast today with small pockets of sun. Not as hot as yesterday, maybe 20F at 10AM. Pit at about 12,100ft. NE facing. Snow height 160cm. 35cm of snow from recent storm. Persistent slab 120cm down, still possible to touch from skier impact. Forgot my saw… No testing. The storm snow seemed to be bonding well to the layer below. Maybe the warmth from yesterday helped with bonding. South facing had a crust layer. At about 11,000ft the South crust was 2cm-3cm thick. At about 10,000ft the South crust layer was 3-4cm thick and had very large surface hoar on it. North facing snow was POW! Lots of avalanche activity from this storm. Large natural avalanches on E-NE-N-NW-W. Point release avalanches on E. The drive from Cement Creek to Silverton through Molas Pass and Coal Bank Pass had avalanches and activity everywhere!! Scary! The Idaho slide path on Kendall Mountain slid along with the two other major slide paths lookers right of the Idaho path. Lots of North facing slopes broke at rocks and steep zones. Lots of cracking on North and East facing slopes. Snowmobile triggered avalanche on North face on Molas Pass that broke pretty large, but had nowhere to run. Activity everywhere. Be safe!
I just started putting snow reports at the bottom of the days post. I am no snow expert. We are just out here getting after it everyday and I would love to share my observations to the beautiful ski community!! Be safe! Take faceshots!!!!!