Forecaster observations from the June Lake and Virginia Lakes area yesterday found good settlement and overall bonding of last week’s storm snow, but in stability tests, propagating results were still found in Extended Column Tests near the new snow/old snow interface. Periods of solar input and relatively light winds the past few days have also contributed to changing most aspects affected by sun to variable surface conditions including injury-inducing breakable crust.
If you’re not up to date, it’s worth mentioning several skier triggered slides that occurred last Thursday and Friday. Upon forecaster investigation the skier triggered slide on the Red cone approach Thursday had slid on an East aspect where the new 40cm of snow had slid on an old melt/freeze crust over a steep rolling convex granite slab in a sheltered zone that sees a lot of sun and warming effects. Friday's triggered wind slab was on a heavily loaded north aspect on a steep fetch zone optimal for capturing mid-slope wind transported snow. Both these slides remind us to always adhere to fundamental travel protocols, constantly re-evaluate current conditions and maintain good communication with your group.
This has not been the winter, nor the time right now with all we are dealing with, to risk serious injury by skiing carelessly with our overall thin and obstacle ridden conditions.
It is also important to practice social distancing at all times, from travelling in separate 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!