There was rapid settlement yesterday with the new light snow becoming increasingly heavy, cohesive and viscous on East aspects that were receiving lots of solar input…even by mid-morning. This could have been a contributing factor to the skier triggered slide on an East aspect above the traditional approach to Red Cone at 9800ft yesterday. This incident is a poignant reminder to take pause and remember to always follow your fundamental travel protocols and to constantly re-evaluate conditions as you travel both up and down in the winter mountain environment.
Loose Dry sloughing should still be on the radar in steep, tight and confined terrain and in relation to exposure. Surface sloughing was observed throughout the Mammoth and VA lakes area yesterday and a cold night last night likely pulled more moisture from surface snow.
This has not been the winter, nor the time right now with all we are dealing with to risk serious injury by skiing with abandon… especially regarding the overall thin and obstacle ridden conditions we have dealt with all season.
It is also important to practice social distancing at all times, from travelling in seperate cars going to the trailhead, and keeping at least 6 feet between individuals while skinning and re-grouping. We all need to do our part in preventing the spread of this Corona Virus!