Santa Fe & Nambe

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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby lobojasper » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:54 pm

Bob wrote:The ski area is putting these signs out as I type.

That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

Just kinda seems coddling, obvious, and melodramatic to me. I prefer to hike Ravens anyway. Hopefully I don’t get yelled at by an all caps, no punctuation, scull and crossbone sign on the way up there. I’m triggered really easily.

Maybe we also need a punctuated, mostly lower case sign facing the backcountry to inform weary travelers that they are entering a ski area eutopia. Runs are groomed, coverage is pretty solid, and rescue is available. Maybe with an angel or something. On the other hand I’d feel really gnarly turning back at that sign.

Omg am I derailing this nambé conditions thread, I’m sorry ;)
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby mschlumpf » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:34 pm

Skied Portions of ravens ridge and heavens hill today. Conditions are fabulous with very little traffic so far at HH.

By 3pm there was ~ 30cm of low density HST in HH area and HS is around 140cm. The new snow sits on a fragile melt-freeze crust on all aspects and most elevations, with it being more pronounced on open solar slopes. As the new snow becomes more consolidated this layer could be of concern on certain aspects.

We enjoyed a strong and supportive mid-pack on sheltered, treed, polar slopes. As you transition to more open, rockier terrain, that support is lost to faceting, skiing becomes worse and instabilities become more obvious. We experienced some cracking and whumpfing in isolated areas.

Great conditions out there, have fun!
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby tfort » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:43 pm

jpurcellrd wrote:Anyone that is interested in an "exchange, talk, class" or whatever you want to call it I will start a thread in general talk.

Has any decision been reached re. having a get-together for avy discussion in the SF area? Didn't see anything in General Talk. I know a few folks who would be interested in going, myself included.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby jpurcellrd » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:15 pm

Went up to Tesuque peak. I skipped through the forest where there were a lot of whumps, settling, cracking on the flats at about 10,500ft. I measured approximately a foot of new snow, but snotel stated ~7in. and ski hill reported 17in in last storm. It sat on what looked to be a melt/freeze crust. The rest of the snowpack was similar to observations made previously. Observed this at 11,000ft give or take due variation in my altimeter.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby Bob » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:41 am

Slide info north of the Nambé, from the TGR forum: ... ost5568129
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby H man » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:20 pm

In regard to dogs:
Up hill traffic at the ski area must have dogs on a leash. During business hours that is ski area policy. As a dog owner and an uphill skier it is common sense.
Aa a backcountry skier skiing avalanche terrain the standard is not to have an uncontrolled dog running around with the chance of triggering something on to you or a party below you. Skiing in terrain where avalanches are possible is serious business and perhaps leaving your dog at home is prudent for you, your dog and fellow backcountry enthusiasts.
Here is a link from Backcountry Magazine with a thoughtful opinion on the subject. ... -dog-home/
H man
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby lobojasper » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:22 pm

H man wrote:In regard to dogs:

Thanks for your lecture/opinion on dogs in the backcountry, and compelling link to generic outdoors magazine wirtten by non dog owning gnarly backcountry dude.

Hey did you know there is already a thread in “community” that is perfect for dog griping? That way the conditions thread doesnt get derailed and we don’t get all excited when we see a recent post under conditions that only turns out to repeat what everyone has already said about dogs in the wrong thread?
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby mschlumpf » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:39 am

A bit late, but here are some observations from the Ski Santa Fe area from about a week ago.

On a solo tour I skied some SE facing slopes at tree line and below. In open, unsheltered areas the snowpack is very supportive from a mixture of crusts and wind blown snow. As I transitioned into denser trees, soft surface snow sits on a supportive mid-pack and made for good skiing. With strong S-SW winds and more snow from this past week, I'm sure these conditions have only improved, especially in sheltered terrain.

A pit dug on an open SE slope below tree line yielded interesting results. Consolidated surface snow sits on a mid pack consisting of a variety of old crusts and consolidated snow. At 70-80cm a prominent large-grained facet layer sits a top a very solid 10cm thick crust. Though this crust is making it very hard to trigger deeper instabilities, the large facets above it are prone to failure. An ECT test produced full propagation down 70cm on this layer after several hard hits that were outside of the normal test range. This layer seems unlikely to be triggered, but it will be large if it does.

HS was around 140cm.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby Jasper » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:45 pm

Great report.
Go when the going is good.
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Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby rittersam » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:35 pm

Tried to tour at Big T this morning (about 10:00) but found only solid crust. Moved up to try to ski off of Raven’s Ridge and toured to the ridge. It was not good on the way down—hard crust and breakable crust the whole way back to the ski area parking lot.

Anyone have better luck on true north aspects? From snotel, it seemed like it didn’t rain at the ski area this week, but a lot of what I saw today looked like a rain crust. We didn’t dig a pit or do other assessments.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby Gradymack » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:44 pm

We skied into the Nambe on friday via the main chute on the Raven's side below Lake peak.

Dug a hasty pit at the top. There was that 4" layer of breakable crust on top of a bomber windslab (pencil hard and 5-7" thick) on top of a variety of layers of varying hardness (generally about four-finger) over an ice layer (must have been about 1 meter down) that was harder than pencil hardness. Could barely dig into that layer so didn't dig to the ground. On our column test, we found it difficult to affect the weak layers below the windslab.

The snow was pretty crusty on the way down, but got better as you got lower into the basin.

On the skin out, up the boot-out chute, my partner reported hearing a woompf and felt a settle. Speculating that it was the four finger hard layer and must have been at a thin spot. That is a true north aspect I believe. Didn't observe any other signs of instability.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby Jasper » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:33 am

What's happening over theres?
Go when the going is good.
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Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby ingorance » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:31 am

I was up there yesterday, skied down Charon and booted out of Rubicon. The ski down was amazing, Charon is protected from the sun and wind and made for knee deep turns. Everything else in the Nambe was very windblown. The bootpack I used was made by some people coming in from the resort, it was not my best decision. There's a 3-4" wind slab in places with very weak snow underneath, proceed with caution.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby sody » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:00 pm

Skied today into Nambe via the main chute. As ingorance says, very wind affected. Was a solid wind affected "crust" on top. No instabilities observed. No signs of very recent avalanches, maybe older ones, but hard to decipher with all the wind affecting the snow. Saw ingorance's tracks coming out on the bottom. Looked like a sweet ski. Another group worked their way to heaven's hill. I bet it was probably pretty nice snow in there.

Saw the boot track and decided not to follow it, it went straight towards the rocks on climbers left on the chute. Decided to ski to windsor instead, but not before following a skin track at the first flat spot past the lake up towards Raven (A group of three were skiing it today and putting that skin track in). Didn't followed it all the way, instead skied back down and out via windsor.

Lots of soft snow in shaded areas and north facing aspects. Sun affected areas in the trees were starting to warm up and soften. Got even some corn coming out of windsor following the powerlines to the parking lot.

With the next storm rolling in, conditions will change for next week. possibly 2 feet of snow on its way.
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Re: Santa Fe & Nambe

Postby trevdog » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:46 pm

That was probably us you saw on the way to Heavens Hill, Sody. And your right, the snow is great back there. At 11K, North aspect snowpack was 160cm. The bottom 70cm is cohesionless facets with a couple icy bands. The top half is nearly homogeneous though there is a melt freeze crust under this last storm, seems to have bonded well. We quickly and rather sloppily isolated a column, full swings from the shoulder produced no failure. So, I dug the pit out to ski length wide and we jumped on it. Not a true rutschblock, as we didn't isolate the block. There was a failure in the recent storm snow after several hard jumps, but no failure at the 70cm interface of facets and consolidated powder. I'd expect this to be different in areas where this slab is thinner.
If anyone needs me, I'll be in the north facing trees...
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