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Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:32 am
by JBella
Storm totals in the 2 foot range. SW-W winds were strong and consistent, we encountered drifts up to 4 feet deep throughout the area yesterday and in many areas the snow was packed into a dense slab, board edges were penetrating only a few inches in many places. Lots of shooting cracks and collapses and the storm slabs were easily triggered on all aspects below treeline.

Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:54 pm
by JBella
Yesterday a small yet respectable skier triggered slide occurred on the lower reaches of Stauffenberg. I saw a video posted privately on Facebook which showed a skier triggering what I'd rate as an R1D1.5 SS-AS-U-I, the video appeared to be taken from lift 2 some time when the lift was stopped. The slide appeared to be about 1.5 feet deep, 20 feet wide and ran about 150 vertical feet. It nearly hit a snowboarder who unknowingly rode out of the path as it sluffed out on the apron, didn't look to be a potential burial situation had the rider not moved however the video isn't clear enough to determine the depth of the debris in the deposition area. It's a great reminder that there are lurking instabilities where the recent storm snow is sitting atop the older snow - something to keep in mind during the near future, particularly on sunny aspects as daytime temps rise.

Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:03 pm
by Bob
I'm pretty sure this is inbounds at TSV, but it serves as a reminder about cornices in the southern Sangre de Cristos:

Oopsie! :shock:

Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:13 am
by Bob
From Kachina Peak at TSV yesterday I saw someone putting in a nice skin track up the north flank of Sin Nombre.

Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:36 am
by JBella
Bob wrote:From Kachina Peak at TSV yesterday I saw someone putting in a nice skin track up the north flank of Sin Nombre.

I've seen a skin track on that face, it sure looks pretty when the sunlight is at a certain angle! Wednesday we saw these three skinning up Wheeler's northwest slopes;

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And these small R1D2 point release sluffs in the Ring Finger;

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Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:29 pm
by VTSVJohnny
Friends skied Ohio Peak the other day adjacent to Sin Nombre. That may be them ascending.

Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:26 pm
by JBella
Riding southeast and east aspects around the 12,000' level today, we encountered a reactive upper layer moving as wet sluffs and slabs, within the snow lingering from the last storm about two weeks ago. Above 11,400', 4-7" wet slabs were failing on a knife hard, suncupped and near-frozen suncrust present beneath the most recently deposited layer. After assessing the snow and clearing the top of our route we worked our way down a narrow southeast facing couloir, and around to Kachina's east basin. There were several recent R1.5D2.5 wet slides on the easterly slopes, apparent natural releases triggered from cornice falls. Debris flowed into deposits several feet deep. The aprons on south and east aspects were wet and unconsolidated, indicating there hasn't been a deep freeze recently. Reading the forecast for the near future and seeing the rate the snow has been melting on these warmer aspects these issues will likely persist and grow for several more days, even until temps cool significantly or the next snowstorm sets in. ...

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Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:42 pm
by Bob
Great pictures, and a timely heads-up.

Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 9:42 am
by scotthsu
We skinned up the standard way all the way to the summit of Lake Fork Peak via the SE slopes and skied the NE slope. Pretty much everything we encountered has gone completely through melt/freeze including the latest storm layer. We dropped into the NE face at 10:50am, and it was already past prime, but it was a great day out nevertheless. Saw three other people on Lake Fork. It's still skinnable from the BD espresso shack. Cheers!

Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:36 am
by JBella
We hiked much of the Williams Lake trail before heading west into the wilderness yesterday, June 6. The snow line is just before the first sign on the trail, where it leaves the wider, rocky road and continues into the forest. Above there, about 75% of the trail is beneath 2-4 feet of snow, with intermittent sections where the snow has melted and there was a lot of mud and water running everywhere. Before 10 am the snow was solid enough to walk on, after then it was warming enough to posthole. There is a large tree down across the trail a short ways north of the wilderness boundary sign which requires navigating around one side or the other. Above Williams Lake, most southerly aspects have melted down to rocks and ground, shadier and cooler north aspects are still holding a respectable snowpack, slightly below average depth for the first week of June. We heard and witnessed a rock fall in the southern-most avalanche path on Kachina's east side, several large boulders fell from the cliffs and rolled down the snowfields to where the slope angle levels a bit. Cornice and rock falls will be an inherent concern on these higher elevation, leeward slopes for a while, avalanche danger along the trail is minimal to none as most of the snow in the west-facing slide paths has melted, only a few patches are lingering on that side. The Kachina Pond has melted out completely, riding down from there required hiking between patches of snow. The upper, north facing terrain on Kachina and Lake Fork is still filled in, Sin Nombre had some near-top to treeline lines visible.

Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:29 pm
by JBella

Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:03 am
by Bob
JBella wrote:


Re: Taos Ski Valley Region

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:07 am
by JBella
Climbed Wheeler yesterday morning. As we were climbing from treeline we watched a light haze develop above Twining, and slowly expand across the ski runs as the clouds drifted northwards up Hondo Canyon. We summited at 8am as a light drizzle encompassed the entire area. Everything on the peak was wet, we hung out for about 7 minutes then headed down along the trail towards Williams Lake. Temps were cool, in the low 40s. About a few hundred feet below the summit ridge the drizzle transitioned to snow for about 4 minutes before the clouds began clearing out ~ we could see the snow sticking to our jacket sleeves! Possibly the first snow of the season. We hung out in the basin below Wheeler's northwest slopes for a while and watched the storm clear out. By the time we were back at the saddle above the lake temps had warmed and sunlight began showing through the clouds. It cleared out for a couple hours before the afternoon monsoon storms kicked in, then several shots of heavy rain soaked the area during the afternoon and into evening. I got a few pics of the last remaining patches of snow from last Winter;

Sin Nombre
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Lake Fork from Wheeler
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Lake Fork Northeast Side
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