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Monday, January 31, 2005

Update from Chatter Creek

Here's a quick report from your Chatter Editor, on site at Chatter Creek. Things are great! We've had good snow, although access to some terrain is restricted by rain crust below the tree line. The good news is that the extreme avalanche conditions that prevailed a week ago have subsided.

Our first day was foggy, but all groups skied the alpine in different areas: The Windlip, Jo-Pal, Bouncing Chuckles and Spruce Pass; South Park; and the Clamshell. The snow in all of these areas was soft and very skiable.

After an overnight snowfall, our second day was bright and sunny with great visibility and more good snow. My group spent the day in the Chatter Creek watershed: high on the Lodge Ridge, in Dewers Bowl and on the Chatter Glacier. Mostly alpine skiing with some good tree skiing. Other groups skied the Vertebrae glacier and South Park. Everyone had good snow and enjoyed themselves.

Today, the weather was overcast and it snowed most of the day. We looked at the Enchanted Forest on the East Ridge and at treeline on Lodge Ridge, but both areas are badly raincrusted with insufficient new snow cover. We returned to the upper Lodge Ridge and new lines in Dewers Bowl. The high alpine was foggy, but easily skiable and the lower alpine and the trees near Chatter Glacier were great. Just like the prior day.

So far the tour has been very successful. We've all skied "new" areas (to us) and we've had good snow. Some areas such as the East Ridge and lower Lodge Ridge are badly rain crusted, but there are many other areas such as the Chatter Creek watershed, South Park, the Clamshell, Vertebrae Glacier, Jo-Pal, Wonderland, etc. that are providing excellent skiing. It is currently snowing. 10 cm is forcasted for today and another 10 cm for tomorrow, our last day.

I should have some new photos later in the week.

Regards from Spruce Lodge.