|I21 Closed on Saturday, January 14 - Fourth Day of Closure|
I-21 was closed past 10 Mile Creek Campground. Fortunately, from the closure point, Freeman's Peak south ridge can be used to get into higher elevation terrain, which we did yesterday.
The next video showcases the riding we did yesterday, Saturday, January 14 at Freeman Peak. I feel sorry for many of the folks that missed yesterday backcountry skiing due to the road closure.
FreemanSouthRidgeJan2017 from Santiago Rodriguez on Vimeo.
Much later in the day when we returned to our vehicle, the road was open. We do not know at what time I-21 was opened. During the day, we only saw one party of skiers that followed our tracks, and a handful of snowmobilers in the distance.
We ski toured "prime avalanche terrain", but observed very limited indications of avalanches regardless of aspect and elevation. This was in conflict with the extended closure and I21 and the reasons provided to the public to justify its closure.
Stability tests fail to provide evidence of instability and no persistent weak layers were identified. A snowpit at an elevation of 7200 and Easterly aspect provided compression test results in the hard (CTH) range with poor fracture planes (Q3-Borken) at 40 and 60 cm depths. The 40 cm interface consisted of an unreactive structure of rounded facets above a melt-freeze crust. The 60 cm interface consisted of graupel above a finger hard round crystals layer.
|One of the occasional crowns observed.|
The solar radiation crust at Easterly/Southerly aspects was present at all elevations, and make skiing tricky. We carefully selected terrain to avoid the crust, and maximize hero skiing conditions.
|North Aspects remain in a deep freeze!|
However, the recently extended closure, as well as the erosion of attention to road pull-outs during this winter, appears to be different from their impeccable track record. I do not need to remind our state and federal public servants that Mores Creek Summit is one of the most important winter recreation areas in South Western Idaho and essential for the vitality of Idaho City business during the winter months.