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Northern Colorado Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding
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By telejet9
Figured it's time to get this thread started given the forecast and early snow. Has any snow stuck around up high and if it has any facets or crusts?
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By skipig
Howdy folks...
I was thinking the same thing...
I was up yesterday on Montgomery. there was about 90 cm at the bottom of the bowls and about 75 cm near the top. It was snowing and blowing, a beautiful day. There is a layer of old, firm, snow under an ice-like layer at the bottom. This is the bottom 20 cm or thereabouts, reminiscent of what we had early last season. It's from the mid-Oct storm. Some facet growth on top of it, between the hard stuff and the decomposing new snow. It was Monty bowl so i just took a quick look-see and didn't do any tests and enjoyed the snow and sipped some whiskey and threw sticks for the dog. Good skiing.
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By frenchy
What up Joe! Thanks for the heads up, and way to kick off the ski season. Just getting back from a couple quick laps on Bruce's (Rabbit Ears), and got to dust the cobwebs off the nordic setup. We got about 10" of heavy base building snow out of this storm, perfect for x-country & skate skiing. Sure is nice to be back on snow again. Let's go skiing!
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By mw88888888
Sweet turns...and a base is born.
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By mw88888888
Here's what I noticed: Saturday morning:

There was an elbow deep wedge of new snow on top of the base layer of firm corn from the last freeze/thaw cycle the prior week. There was a distinct freeze layer in that new snow layer that probably formed on a sunny day...but didn't get too warm...then it started snowing again. It was weird at times, yet the whole top layer acted as one. In the time I was there (two laps) it snowed 4" and snowed another 6" and another 10" yesterday. I'd be plenty spooked by that upper snowpack. It is unreal to be so concerned about avalanche conditions the first week of November. Yippee!

I skied in the trees and it was dynamite.
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By frenchy
Drove over CP today at 2pm and saw that Ptarmigan ran full path earlier in the day. We stopped in the Diamond lot and spoke with a couple people who thought the slide ran today, may have been skier triggered, and that everyone who had cars parked was either seen recently or accounted for. Hope everyone's safe and no one got hurt. That looked scary...

Meanwhile, Montgomery Bowl was riding great for early season with upwards of a meter of total snow depth. Surface snow consisted of about a foot of soft new snow sitting on top of a more consolidated mid-pack. At roughly 25cm from the ground we noted the same decomposing crusts/facet combination layer that Skipig mentions below, or else a hard 10cm melt/freeze layer depending on aspect and elevation. Also found more developed facets (depth hoar) in the basal layer. None of our stability tests were reactive. Winds were light out of the West forming a soft/reactive cornice at ridgeline. Temps were in the mid-teens all day. Snowing lightly in the morning under mostly obscured skies and a few quick sunny breaks. Overall a really nice wintery day up there.

And the skiing was really good....
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By imthedude
How's the coverage down to the lots? Any of you take any major shots to your skis/board or break a leg getting over logs on the way out? Itching to get out but don't want to wreck my gear or my body during the process.
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By frenchy
imthedude, we didn't hit anything all day up on Monkey pass (and down to the lot) yesterday.

A few folks asked if I had pics of the Ptar slide. All I have are these crappy ones taken on my phone from the highway. You can make out the crown up high in the starting zone, the bed surface, and the track, if you squint hard enough:
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By d-rock
great early season stoke here!
That slide on S Diamond is impressive.
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