Deep Powder Skiing at Downing Mountain Lodge

January 23, 2012 at 12:55 | Posted in Backcountry skiing the Bitterroots, Skiing at Downing Mountain Lodge | Leave a comment

Welcome to the heart of winter, with the deep snowpack having arrived. With upwards of five feet of fresh snow at Downing Mountain, this passed weekends guests were treated to an amazing few days of some of the deepest powder skiing with it settling and dried out for the Sunday finale. Plowing and trail breaking duties were stiff this cycle, but between the guests and I we kept the trail open to the summit and skied a thoroughly filled in mountain with nary an old track showing. Avalanche conditions spiked Saturday with the warm front and additional snow loading and then backed off on Sunday with the freeze. There are many layers in the upper three feet of snow none with a good shear plane but all failing in the yellow light caution zone under standard compression testing. We skied 30-35 degree terrain Sunday without incident, but stuck to the 30 degree terrain predominantly with the high consequences of triggering a slide with this much new snow nothing to scoff at. It is snowing again this morning and we should accumulate another few inches  to a foot this week.

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