Keep me anonymous if published
Location (general area)
Eastern San Gabriels
Road conditions to area
clear (no clouds)
Light (1-16mph Flags/twigs in motion)
Wind direction in degrees
Aspect in degrees
Boot/ Ski penetration
Activity, recent avalanches
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks. collapsing
Obvious avalanche path
Saturday AM tour near treeline in the SG mountains with the goal of scoping higher elevation snowpack and assess stability. Key takeaways on the approach:
- Evidence of massive windloading present near ridgelines in the form of small cornices and wind lips.
- Solar input was quickly melting huge chunks of rime ice from trees, littering ground with glass-like debris
- Surface hoar observed at the start of the tour on clear, high elevation spots (see photo). It was getting zapped by the sun and warmer temps by early afternoon.
- Snow surface is highly variable on all but the most protected aspects. Currently a mix of ice, windboard, sastrugi and granular wind-drifted snow.
- Some faceted snow on highest, steepest aspects. Looks like it's rounding as temps have steadily increased in recent days.
Dug a pit on a NNE test slope near where we planned to ski, that was obviously affected by windloading, so take with a grain of salt.
- 175cm deep
- 4F 155-175
- melt/freeze crust at 155
- pencil hard from 155 to ground with faintly visible layers (no pronounced crusts, though)
- CT12 failure at 165, Q3 shear.
- column was cohesive and seemingly well bonded below soft snow surface
Key takeaways for me are that the snowpack does appear to be bonding, although the primary concerns are still large swaths of boilerplate/ice and some breakable crusts that pose danger in exposed terrain.
Publish this observation
Yes I would like this observation Published