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Location (general area)
Eastern San Gabriel Mountains
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
very small R1 D1 naturals on adjacent >35 degree ridges
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks. collapsing
Obvious avalanche path
NYE tour with a friend from 6400' to 7800'. Below 7000' was awful crunchy melt/freeze crust, ostensibly caused by the warm conclusion to Thursday's storm and the fog that settled into the valley that evening. Surface hoar present on N, NE and NW aspects in the chilly AM hours. Snow became progressively less punchy and crusty above 7000'.
We dug two pits. First at 7200' on a NNE aspect, 20 deg test slope. 75cm deep, 4F hard on the top 25cm, 1F 25-50cm, knife from 0-25--so right side up, with the early season icy layer still present. CT failed at 26 taps on the old icy/new snow interface. Clean shear, yet curiously no evidence of faceted snow observed in previous pits in that area (i.e. pre 12/30 storm)
Second pit at 7,600' on a NNW 38deg test slope. 100cm deep, 4F 70-100cm, 1F 25-70, knife 0-25. CT did not yield a failure at old/new interface like pit in lower NNE slope, and there did not appear to be any faceting deep in the snowpack here, either. Overall snow appeared to be right side up and bonding fairly well.
Winds were picking up from the SW late morning, but we managed to find some fun turns in the trees before the weather intensified. Repeat tour on 1/2/22 revealed severe wind scouring that resulted in highly variable conditions (wind board, breakable crust, mashed potatoes in sun). Alas, such is the ephemeral nature of soft snow in the SG mountains. Hopefully the snow that did fall settles into a nice cohesive base for subsequent storms this winter. Fingers crossed.
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