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Location (general area)
Base of North Chute of San Gorgonio
Road conditions to area
Scattered clouds (3/8 to 4/8)
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
I had my first ever alpine summit last weekend on San Gorgonio mountain. We were group of 4, backpacked through South fork trail and camped at Dry lake. We carried snowshoes anticipating we would need it but snow is mostly gone upto Dry lake except for few patches on switchbacks on dry lake trail and last 0.3mile to camp. Most of the snow in camp area is melted too.
On Sunday, we started at 3:30am and headed on the trail towards North face chute. Weather was good and chute was stable since it was early and we summited by 8am. There were few spots in the middle of chute were snow was a bit loose even at 5-6am before sunrise and few spots at last 500ft were icy, otherwise it was perfect for the climb.
We had the summit for ourselves but we ran into 2 skiers and 2 dayhikers on this day.
We started down climbing around 9:30am and made it back to camp by 11:30am. Then break the camp and reached back to cars by 5pm.
On the way back from chute to camp, I tried to do a crude snowpack test (as a practice as I’m a beginner who just took Avalanche course) using my avy gear. There was about 85-90cm of snow at the base of chute around the spot where I measured. As you can see in the last picture, I saw a weak layer underneath but I don’t know if that was a bad spot that I picked as there was some vegetation.
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