Jan
20
2014
Français

Fraser Peak

Good weather finally at White Pass, the road was open, so we went to see the result after the passage of the warm front  with good snowfalls, warm temperatures and strong wind. It was a bit cloudy in the morning, especially in the alaskan side, temperature was close to zero but always negative with a light SW wind, so it did not affect the snow. But, no doubt, the wind did his job and the snowpack is very wind affected and variable. Ski conditions were fair sometimes close to be good in some locations. The stability was not to bad, but the frozen crust is now present from the bottom to up to 1600m in the Fraser area, there is some new fresh snow, loaded a bit by the wind in N NE aspect. That new snow was good for skiing. We tried some steeper couloirs, but the snow was hard to very hard with a thin icy layer on top of it, in one couloir it was impossible to climb without ice crampons and in the other one, skiing was very difficult, something to keep in mind for the next snowfall for sure. But, we had a nice day out and we did some good turns on that new fresh snow. Do not forget to check avalanche conditions : Avalanche bulletin

The view of Summit Creek, Feather, Cleveland SE and Carmacks.

Fraser-17

Snow was good for skinning up.

Fraser-3-2

Nice light in the morning

Fraser-18

In the East side, the wind did a very good job to remove the snow.

Fraser-5

One of the couloir we tried.

Fraser-6

Fraser-9

Fraser-13

Fraser-12

In the hidden couloir

Fraser Hidden couloir

A few good turns anyway…

Fraser-16

Fraser-19

Fraser-20

Dec
24
2013
Français

Merry christmas

froid-9

 

I wish you a great ski season, thousands of nice turns in a wonderful environment.

Ski safe and have fun.

 

Claude

Dec
18
2013
Français

snow conditions update December 18th

-40c, this morning in Whitehorse, cold fog ..it was not really inviting, but we decided to go to see the sun in White Pass. -30c at Fraser, a bit foggy but we could see the sun above. The plan was to go to check the Feather/Cleveland area but once on the parking lot…it was very cold and windy…the terrible cold wind, impossible to keep any part of your skin not covered, not very funny for a tour. So we went back to Log Cabin and his sunny face….very attractive for a cold day.

First thing, there is not a lot of snow in the White Pass area, and the snowpack has been very wind affected.  It is good for touring, but if you are chasing powder, just forget it. there is some pocket of powder in sheltered spots below the tree line or in some North faces but the snow does not seem to be stable there. A nice slab released on the North Face of Cleveland SE peak, and some other in the back of Fraser ridge (north aspect too). In South aspects, the snow seems to be very stable..so packed by the wind, but it could remain some hard slabs.

If you wan to ski on glaciers, be aware, it was a very dry and hot summer, the beginning of the winter is dry, it means crevasses are wide opened or partially covered (check previous post). The ski quality was poor to fair but it was a gorgeous day outside.

Sunrise over the Fraser and White Pass area.

Fraser White Pass

 

Feather peak

Feather

 

Tayia

Tayia SE

 

The Saw Tooth with the cold fog flowing down the valley.

saw tooth

 

North face of Cleveland S-E peak, a nice fracture line.

Cleveland

 

 

The Knee, with still a lot of crevasses wide opened.

the knee

 

 

Tayia, the NW peak..crevasses

Tayia

 

 

Tayia, the North face

tayia-6

tayia-5

 

 

The funny snow, rim from the moisture coming from the ocean, not that bad for skiing, it was probably the best part.

log cabin-4

Tayia-2

 

Wind affected snow pack…log cabin

 

The White Pass, and a new system coming from the ocean..it means more snow coming and warmer temperatures for Whitehorse, everybody will be happy.tayia-7

Dec
5
2013
Français

New press release

 

298-December-2013-site

A nice article about me and ski touring in Yukon.

Thank you Ryan and Gary for the good job.

Dec
4
2013
Français

Powder Valley

A little trip to Powder Valley, but without a lot of powder . Snow pack has been very wind affected above the tree line. So powder can just be found below the tree line.  The snowpack is still thin, ski conditions are variable from poor to good. The weather was great, it was -27 c in Whitehorse, -25c on the parking…and -12c at the top with just a  light South South East wind. A very good day outside traveling in the perfect winter light.

For avalanche , at 1350m in  East aspect, remotely triggered a size 1 hard slab  from a flat area 10 meters away. Crown between 10 to 70cm.
We  observed, sign of 2.5 size slab avalanche on East slope  of  Paddy’s Peak east summit.
Powder valley
An happy skier ascending
Powder valley
.
Powder valley
.
Powder valley
And what a reward on top, the view was amazing, a nice cloud sea raised the level of Bennet Lake.
Powder valley  Powder valley
A small size one that we triggered remotely, a good remind on actual snow conditions.
Powder valley
Powder valley
Sometimes, skiing on wind affected snow is not that bad…
Powder valley
.
Powder valley
The end of a wonderful day.
Nov
30
2013
Français

Crevasses

The ski season is not completely on. The snow pack is very thin, the ground is not well covered, especially the unleveled rocky ground that we have in the White Pass area. So far, the only decent ski conditions are found on glaciers.

Now, backcountry users are very aware about avalanches,but, sometime not very aware about skiing on glacier with potential risk of fall into a crevasse.

Do you know the terrain you are skiing on? Last winter was drier than usual in the Coast Mountains, summer was drier and warmer. The result was an important melting of the snow coverage, even on glaciated area. Which means less snow covering crevasses and more crevasses uncovered than usual. The last snowfalls that occurred and the wind have created some snow bridges but not always solid enough to carry a skier.

So while skiing on your favorite spot or new terrain that you are discovering, for your safety, you have to be aware of crevasses. You need to have the proper equipment, skills and training to conduct crevasse rescue.

Plan your trip, do not rely only on maps, they are not accurate enough and they do not show crevasses. Glaciers are in constant movement, crevasses locations and shape change continuously. Never travel alone on a glacier.

Below some pictures taken late summer and in winter, of some glaciated area around White Pass..yes there are some crevasses,  large and deep enough to lead to serious consequences.

Boundary peakBoundary Peak 116

The KneeThe Knee

Cleveland SE

Cleveland Southeast peak

Boundary peaksBoundary Peak 115

Nov
17
2013
Français

Nice article

Last year, I had the chance to lead a tour for some journalist. We were not so lucky with the weather and snow conditions, but Ryan Creary and Ryan Stewart are very good professional and you can see the article in the November issue of  Backcountry Magazine

cover_sm

May
30
2013
Français

Kluane icefields, Saint Elias range

icefield_-43

Ski season is not over in the Yukon. May was probably the best month of the 2013-13 ski season with the best conditions. The snow was good, better stability and quality and the weather was not too bad…with a lot of fresh snow and temperatures cold enough to keep it good. End of may we decided to check the possibilities for ski touring in the Kluane Icefield. Just during the flight to get there I was amazed by the diversity of this playground. By chance I could use the camp from Icefield Discovery as a base camp. The camp location is just perfect with diverse kind of terrain, it is easy to find what you are looking for, steep couloirs or gentle slopes….and the environment is amazing. Everywhere you go you are attracted by the stunning view of the Mont Logan, it attract your eyes like magnets. Late spring is a very good period because it is one of the driest, there is no night , temperatures are just perfect, not too cold to be very comfortable at the camp but not too warm to affect the snow conditions. Snow was just a affected by the sun on the very exposed slopes oriented to the southwest, otherwise it was still a cold and dry snow just a little wind affected in some places. nothing better than going for an evening ride to enjoy the sunset.

We were there for skiing, but even if the place just worth the view, it is also perfect for others activities, what a place for kiting with a vast area free of crevasses.

icefield_-60

View from the camp, the Mont logan, the highest peak in Canada at 5959 meters of elevation.

icefield_-63

The icefield discovery camp with left the sub peak of Mont Queen Mary and right the Mont Logan…nice location.

icefield_-46

icefield_-18

icefield_-41

Late in the evening, after 22.00, it is time for an evening tour with the Mont logan in sight.

Kluane icefield_-3

Mont Vancouver, 4785 meters, not as high as the Mont logan but a huge mountain between the Hubbard and Seward glaciers.

icefield_-24

Mont Augusta 4289 meters, a nice video from the team of the GMHM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBQsSA5V3t4

icefield_-75

Nice little peaks, perfect for some day trips from the camp, look for the two skiers, little dots at the base of the peak on the left, it will give you an idea of the scale.

icefield_-28

Sian in her backyard.

icefield_-54

icefield_-25

icefield_-58

Every where you go you can see the Mont Logan and his kind of magical attraction.

icefield_-76

Ski conditions were still very good.

icefield_-26

icefield_-66

Enjoying a nice evening, you cannot be tired of the scenery.

With the long boreal days, you can do whatever you want whenever you want and enjoy the super long sunsets.

icefield_-68

1.30am no night at this time of the year, a very long sunset followed by a long sunrise and with the full moon rising.

icefield_-52 icefield_-47 icefield_-39 icefield_-38

A last view of the Logan before going to bed, already 23.00, the sun is still high un the sky and the tent is warm…perfect.

icefield_-21 icefield_-16 icefield_-14

icefield_-7

A big thank to Sian from Icefield Discovery

Apr
15
2013
Français

good skiing…

A warm front brought a bit of new fresh and wet snow and a lot of wind. So we got approx 20cm of new snow near the Summit, but we also had close to 70km/h of SW wind shifting for SE, temp was close to 0 on monday then dropped to -15c on wednesday. A bit of unusual situation, White Pass got more snow than Haines Pass.

In Haines Pass area, during and just after the storm, some big natural avalanches happened in different expositions, the entire north face of Three Guardsmen went down producing a good size 3. Then the temperatures dropped and the wind has dried the snow but also has brought a bit od new fresh snow, but forming some new wind slabs, especially in NE and NW.
For skiing, ski conditions were variable because of the wind that has affected the snow differently from slope to slope. Best conditions were found often in north,north-east but it is also where the rick to trigger a big avalanche is, so caution is required. Everywhere else, it is a mix of more or less wind affected snow, sometimes with sastrugis not very inviting but sometimes not that bad and where it was possible to have some acceptable ski conditions, but best spots where in sheltered area.

In White Pass area, the last snowstorm has dropped more snow than in the Haines Pass area. In some sheltered area, it was possible to find close 40cm of new fresh snow, but due to the wind skiers need to be careful of new wind slabs formed in very different expositions ( we saw some little slab avalanche triggered by cornices collapse in NE but also in SW). But it is always possible to find some good gentle slopes with very nice snow where skiing is very good.

After  the storm
Evening tour after the storm

a big avalanche on the Parton area
A big avalanche that occurred during the storm in the Mt Parton area.

I love it like that
Nice snow sculpture.

P1060652
And the sun was back again

telemark is good
a happy telemarked

a meteor impact
It seems like a meteor have hit the snow

after the storm
changing weather

slope testing
We have tried to test some steeper slopes, still have to wait to hit big lines.

a nice little chute
But with caution it was possible to ski some nice little chutes

snowboard

signatures
When we have a nice slope like that with a very good untracked snow, we need to treat it very good and leave a very nice signature.

above the Chilkoot Pass
Heading up after a nice run, behind the Chilkoot Pass.

an happy telemarked

Pages:«12345»