So it seems, we have a winter this year, or at least the start of one. Strong winds on Saturday moved a lot of snow around and dumped it into the trail “trench” I broke on Friday. This made todays effort not as effortless as it could have been.
For those of you that have attempted to follow an old uptrack that has been filled with snow, you will know of what I speak. Following such a track is similar I suppose, to reading brail. You don’t so much trace it by eye but by feel. If you are on it you will know as you ride high in the snow with minimal effort. Drift a few inches side to side and you sink into the depths of old snow, breaking trail all over again.
But this is the least of ones worries after the wind has whipped the powdery snow into clouds of spindrift and banners off the peaks. Those crystals are battered and broken and when they land again they often form a dense windslab that can be particularly unstable when laid upon a snowpack of light, fluffy powder. Such is the case in many locations in the high country at this time.
This isn’t to say there isn’t some fine, relatively safe skiing to be had, one just needs to pick their line with caution.