I spent December 24 – January 2 skiing at the lodge. It started out with clear skies and boot top powder. Despite the cold temperatures in Golden, it stayed in the -5 to -8 range at the lodge. The temperature inversion became more pronounced on the 27th and 28th with valley cloud hovering just below the lodge. This led to surface hoar growth to size 12 mm 1900m and below. The surface hoar in the alpine wasn’t as big, to size 7 and blown away in some areas. The inversion also led to warm temperatures in the alpine and the formation of a suncrust on steep solar aspects. There was also surface faceting in the top 40 cm from the cold temperatures earlier in Dec. The lower snowpack is strong except in shallow areas, around rocks, alders and wind blown ridges.
The snow started on Dec 29 and brought 60cm of low density fluff with temperatures staying steady at -10. There was no reaction to ski cutting until Jan 2 when the temperatures rose to -6. There is now a 35- 45 cm soft slab sitting on the Dec 29 interface. Jan 2 I remotely triggered a size 1.5, 35 cm deep from 10m away. Elevation 1800m, NE aspect, 38 degrees, running on the surface hoar. This is the level that the valley fog sat at during the inversion.
The snow depth is 205 at the lodge and 220- 320 on the glaciers. The snowpack is generally strong on the glaciers. Despite this the glaciers appear more open than normal because of the hot summer that melted a lot of bridges.