As I mentioned in an earlier post about the Breezeway Lift, we are now shifting our efforts towards Mirkwood Basin and the Cat Skiing Terrain. We have continued our disruption efforts with the roller and have conducted several explosive routes in these areas. Early season explosive routes are used primarily to help settle weak snow layers, initiate wind slabs and faceted snow to avalanche down the path. This helps to prepare the slopes for additional snowfall and personnel to more safely access them for further mitigation work.
The next step after these initial tactics is to implement our ski-packing program on the smaller open faces, gladed runs, and chutes. These are areas where the roller cannot be used and explosives may have had a more limited effect. A crew of up to 12 people ski-cut and sidestep the avalanche start zones and paths. A lot of work goes into opening this terrain as we attempt to disrupt and penetrate the basal snow layers on these slopes in an effort to set up a consolidated base.
Generally, we aim to open Mirkwood by Christmas. So far this season, we have been able to open everything a bit early and we hope this trend will continue in Mirkwood. Stay tuned.
View of Mirkwood Basin 11-26-18