It’s been a real treat to get some fresh snow for the holidays! Yesterday’s backcountry observations from tree line down confirmed amazing skiing conditions with little to no wind effect. Limited observations were reported in the Upper elevations as the high country was pretty socked in. Mammoth patrol did get to the top of the mountain and reported some minor natural activity, D1 potential for loose snow sloughing, and limited shallow storm slab results during explosive work. Snow totals across the forecast zone varied from 6-16” with ~1.4” of SWE (Snow Water Equivalent) in the Mammoth area. Although there was variety of smooth old snow surfaces such as slick crusts and hard wind eroded surfaces, this most recent storm had bonded well and was right side up yesterday. The only thing moving Monday was some loose snow sloughing which was minimal in nature.
Winds continued to be very light to non-existent overnight in the mid-low elevations, with some steady moderate winds recording at the top of the ski area. As always re-evaluate today and do your own assessments in safe locations to check if some of the deeper pockets of snow in leeward terrain have gained more tension or reactivity to skier trigger.
Some lingering old rain crusts and upside down hardness profiles did not record any signs of instability yesterday, but we will continue to track the metamorphism of these old layers that last week were showing a propensity for propagation in snow stability tests.
Early Season Obstacles Exist! Take note that although there is a decent snowpack in the Mammoth area and high elevations of the forecast zone, a majority of the area still has limited coverage.