Sunday, March 18, 2012

Splendid Skiing at Freeman - March 17 2012

The weather have not been generous since last Wednesday, the last time the Boise Mountains saw snow precipitation below 7000 feet. During the early hours of Saturday March 17th, 25-35 cm of new snow covered the crunchy rain soaked surface layer. This is the first time that Mores Creek Summit get snow after the rain event of the last few days.

Morning climb up to Freeman via its main ridge.
Today temperatures dropped during the day, thus the snow had time to loose excessive moisture. The first ski run we did was fun, but during the day, the snow kept getting better and better. The sking became spelndid! Check the next video.

Stability test results from 6500 to 7500 feet at E and NE aspects were consistent, with moderate compression tests (CTM), no evidence of propagation potential (ECTN or PST100/100), and low likelihood of slip potential (Q3). Weak layers identified were soaked with free water at layers 40 and 50 cm below the surface.

Steep but small Test slope - to the left a small slab is release, to the right a loose snow release.
The 25-35 cm of new snow was soft, and it was only cohesive at few locations affected by wind (such as picture above). We looked hard for evidence on instability or releases caused by the recent rain to no avail. No avalanches of any type were detected at all. However, we noticed that the surface tension of free water was keeping layers in place. Every weak layer interface above 50 cm failed to produce clean fracture planes. Instead, we found plenty of free water "pooling" into the weak layers. These phenomena is called by avalanche scientist - capillary barriers.

A clean fracture plane was identified at 70 cm (CTHQ2).

John and Lachlin

Freeman NE Ski Lines

Freeman- more NE Ski Lines
We would like to thanks the folks that support honoring Steve Romeo by naming an area of Mores Creek Summit after the creator of TetonAT blog. Below some pictures of for the Twelve Mile ridge south of Freeman's ridge. A blog reader suggested Rando ridge, since Steve was well known as Rando Steve. We love the idea, and we hope "Rando Ridge" is adopted by our BC skiers/riders community. Besides, this area has great skiing, it gets little use, and I am not aware of any particular name used to identify the ridge.

Rando Ridge - 12 Mile Creek Drainage
Lower Rando Ridge - 12 mile Creek Drainage
Lower Rando Ridge - 12 mile Creek Drainage
After another wonderful day of skiing, wee were delighted to try at Trudy's her exquisite bread pudding - Yummy!


  1. capillary that the re-bar for the snowpack that we learned about?

  2. When rain precipitates in snow, sometimes it develops vertical features that allows the movement of snow to deeper layers. When this features freeze, they act as "rebars" and add immense strength to the snowpack.

    Capillary barriers consist of snow that in simple terms acts like a "sponge", and the free water from rain or melt event is pooled on this "sponge"layer. Research has shown that well develop facet layer often become capillary barrires. The hypotesis is that large facets in contrast to smaller round grains have "higher" capillary forces, and the rate of free water vertical movement slows down at layers with larger grain sizes resulting the pooling of free water.

    I finished my video of this ski/board trip, how did I do?


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