Bow Yoho Traverse #3, amazing winter skiing in late April!

Today I completed a week-long guided Bow-Yoho traverse from Bow Lake to Field, my 3rd and final Bow Yoho of the season!

Throughout the week the area saw up to 50 cm of storm snow. Early in the week (Wednesday) there was a strong wind event and a natural avalanche cycle up to size 3. By Thursday things had calmed down quite a bit, with only a few avalanches to size 2.5 observed out of steep/extreme sun exposed gully features in the alpine. Skiing out the Tak Falls road today we saw widespread avalanche activity especially at treeline and below treeline.

On Thursday we skied up to 2950 m on Mt. Des Poilus, SE aspect, as well as to the summit of the neighboring 3050 m sub-peak just to the north (the one that Mark Klassen’s original map accidentally labels as Des Poilus) and found excellent skiing. By the afternoon, all aspects well into the alpine except for sheltered north were moist from sun exposure. Yesterday we skied over Isolated Col, sneaking in a hot lap on the north aspect, which was excellent skiing. The south aspect down to Stanley Mitchell was some of the most challenging breakable crust (2 cm thick, overlying dry snow) I’ve skied in a long time, and it took us a while in the flat light with heavy packs to make it down safely.

Travel was a bit labor intensive with the new snow. Glacier travel was straightforward with well bridged crevasses and easy icefall navigation.

Today we skied out the road in a spring storm. I would guess the alpine saw another 10 cm at least, with wind and freezing levels dropping a bit from the 2200 m of yesterday. The route down from Stanley Mitchell was a bit spicy through the switchbacks but otherwise pretty quick.

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