Ski Packing

11 December
Categories : Mountain Ops
Posted by Scott Pressly

The Monarch Cat Skiing Guides had a full weekend of mitigation work with our ski packers. We loaded up one of our tour cats with the guides and a dozen packers and got out into Mirkwood Basin to work the snowpack. The goal is to break up the layers in the snow helping to reduce the likelihood of an avalanche in these areas later in the season. The group utilizes industry standard avalanche safety protocol by traveling one at a time, using directed skiing guidelines, wearing transceivers, and carrying rescue probes and shovels.

The focus this weekend was on the Elation and Mirkwood Ridgelines. It is a lot of physical work ski-cutting and side-stepping through this early season snow. Most of it is an unconsolidated snowpack that is quite unsupportable. Packers will sink right through down to the basal layers and/or ground surface that includes rocks and logs. Bring your rock skis!

In addition to packing, we completed our disruption roller operations in Mirk Bowl, Orcs, and Elation 3. Roller Ops will now move out to Waterdog Ridge in the Cat Skiing Terrain.

Ski-Cutting East Trees

Elation Ridge (Roller tracks can be seen on the left in Elation 3. The rest has been cut and stepped)

Side-stepping in East Trees

Monarch Mountain is an equal opportunity provider and operates under a special use permit with the Pike San Isabel National Forest.
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