Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pilot Peak - 2.4.2012

What an spectacular day we had at Pilot Peak!

The Glades (left) and Knob Ridge (right) - Pilot Peak Ridge
It was a sunny bluebird day, with comfortable temperatures few degrees below 0 Deg-C, very light to calm wind, and with some diligence fun snow could be found at N and NE aspects.

The company was exceptional, I had the chance to introduce a family friend to Mores Creek Summit. Zack was fortunate to have a clear day on his first visit, and tour the Lamar and Pilot Peak ridges. He was able to soak in the 360 degree views of magical central Idaho. I identified for him Copper Mountain-Banner Summit, The Sawtooths, The Smokies, The KING of the Boise Mountain Steel Mountain, Smokey Dome - Soldier Mountains, and the Trinities.

Zack - Lamar Ridge
In our last run we ran into other friends at the Knob Ridge. What a fun day! By the way, Tom found a pair of red poles left at the exit switchback between Morres Creek Summit and Winter Corner. I have them with me, and I will be happy to return them to its owner - just leave a comment, we will not publish your contact information.

The skiing off Lamar ridge was fun, and was not impacted by the winds that ravaged Pilot Peak ridge above 7500 feet. We completed 3 runs at Lamar drainage before heading over to Top Of The World to ski fun snow on its NE glades. The snow was slightly affected by this week winds as we wrap near the bottom of the run to a more Eastern aspect.

Top Of the World - NE Aspect

Our last run - The Glades west of the Knob ridge skied very well. My recommendation is that folks skiing this Sunday should work hard in getting to rarely skied and more treed North and NE aspects at Pilot Peak. Most recognizable runs have been skied, but not-so-popular pow stashes hidden between the favorite runs are there for the takers. South aspects, and Exposed East aspects slopes have become "instruktional" due wind and melt/sun crusts.

After getting back to the trailhead, we noticed that Winter Corner was thoroughly skied. The folks skiing there must have really enjoy themselves. There were many good looking tracks! And there was plenty conservation and track spooning.

We did not find evidence of evidence of instability in our snowpit at 7600 feet and NE aspect. There was an easily identifiable layer of graupel buried 40 cm down, but it was not reactive at all. However, as we toured, we scoped fresh debris from a natural avalanche. The debris and crown were not covered by Wednesday precipitation. We did not visited this avi location. We suspect that it might have been a wind loaded related event, but that is just an educated guess. Keep an eye for this isolated pockets.

Avalanche crowns at Lamar Ridge
Enjoy the tranquil weather, and get out. It is too nice to stay indoors!