Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 02/07/2020
Name: Snow Safety Teams
Subject: Irwin Cat Tenure
An initial decision to delay guest departure while assessing conditions evolved into a cancellation decision before we were half way up Kebler to Irwin. Significant avalanche hazard and road conditions impassable for the Tucker got us part way there. Combining that with a forecast of increasing hazard through the day made the decision obvious.
Snow safety teams continued up and ran control routes to prep terrain. Travel on skis was extremely difficult due to a profound density inversion in the new snow. Normal egress routes that should take 2-3 minutes were 20-30 minute slogs. Ski cutting was almost impossible due to the inability to maintain forward progress. Rescue would have been very time consuming and difficult. Guests would not have had fun with us today.
Our unsettled storm total at noon was 34" with 2.4" of water. It was snowing S2 when we left at 13:00. Fresh slab was notably stubborn to explosive testing, but accompanied by widespread collapsing. Spooky.
Time to make soup. We'll try again tomorrow. cheers…dk