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Location (general area)
Dawson Saddle/Troop Peak (San Gabriels)
Road conditions to area
Snowy but plowed
Obscured (fog or base layer prevents view of sky)
Calm (smoke rises vertically)
Boot/ Ski penetration
Activity, recent avalanches
First, real snow of the season: no pit, just a deposition report
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks. collapsing
Obvious avalanche path
On the drive up, snow stuck to the ground at 6000' and stayed in trees at 7100'. Around Waterman I saw icicles covered in rime, indicating a warm start to the storm which cooled to snow.
Hiking from Dawson Saddle south along the ridge to Throop Peak the day after the first storm of the season...
@9:30 - 3–4" of heavy powder on Dawson Saddle (7,901'). By 2 PM there was 5–6" of very sticky new snow. Trail is covered enough skin the whole way.
Rime on N,NE, & ENE sides of trees. A North/South ridge @ 8,400' is heavily scoured with variable snow depths on E aspects (hard snow drifts, powder pockets, and scoured to rock) and pillowy, wind-transported powder on W aspects. Small, 1–3' high cornices on W side of the ridge. N aspect snow @9000' has been blown firm but not scoured. I found nice 12" of powder on a NW aspect slope @ 8,700'.
Wind has blown most snow from summit. Only 3–4" on top @ 9,138' protected by manzanita. Rime has stuck to all sides of trees and rocks at the summit indicating changing wind directions.
p.s. Snowboarders, hike this trail without fear of cold necks. I knocked snow off all low hanging branches for you already.
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Looking North along the ridge. Where my ski pole is, I knocked off a 3' cornice. Note the chalky powder to the left (W) and scoured/variable snow on the right (E)
2:00 near the saddle again, the temps plummeted and snow flurries came down with very sticky flakes. Note the long spindly crystals which stuck to each other but not the tree.