Reports from Ed on his trip the previous day mentioned 10 cm of new snow above treeline, but soft, moist conditions in the afternood at lower elevations. Fortunately for us it had continued snowing in the evening after dipping below freezing, which provided a nice 1-2cm of new snow at the trailhead to cover the icy surface. We headed off up the trail at about 9:30am under a sunny, cloudless sky. As we ascended higher the new snow did indeed get deeper to between 10 and 15 cm as we approached the pass. After a leisurely lunch we completed two yo-yo runs down from the pass before heading back. No signs of significant wet-snow avalanche activity, however, a large cornice had failed on the Snow Peak ridge, which triggered a 2.5 avalanche that travelled halfway down the runout path. Some good turns were had by all, maybe the last of the season. Arrived back at the vehicles at 4:30pm. Thanks to: Philip, Kim, Terry, Brian, Clifton for coming out to join me. c/s John.
Brian getting into his stride; note the good snow coverage from the previous evening.
Snow Peak with the usual monster cornices hanging off the ridge.
View of Birdwood as we ascented
View towards south Burstall Pass. Good snow coverage with little wind effect.
Kim an Brian at the pass with Snow Peak in the background.
Our first tracks down with Clifton eager for another run.
Large cornice failure on the Snow Peak ridge with triggered a large slide.