Behind June Mtn - Wind Hammered, faceting in the trees

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Negatives, Hemlock, 4seasons
Submission Info
Forecaster
Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - 3:00pm
Red Flags: 
37° 43' 38.2908" N, 119° 5' 56.4108" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Just how firm and wind hammered is the alpine?  Quite.  Went on a search for a pocket of stubborn wind slab to test, but could only find some isolated thin recent plates of windboard that would slide off underlying soft snow when isolated in a handpit.  A few cm to 1-2inches thick.   

Toured off the back of June, up the hourglass, down a north facing chute in the negatives, up and down hemlock ridge and out to the road.  Everything exposed at treeline and above is totally wind effected, from hard firm edgeable surfaces, to breakable crusts, to some sastruggi, to an occasional textured pocket of soft snow.  Winds were on the up and up again today, blowing moderately out of the S to SW, occasionally blowing a bunch of snow into the face while skinning up toward the negatives.  But just not enough loose snow to create any concerning new wind slabs that I could find.  

Dug a pit on an Easterly facing slope at 10,560' to check on underlying weak layers, and while there was a sift layer midpack sandwiched between 2 firm layers, stability tests showed no failures.  

The most concerning thing today was travelling over firm surfaces.  Slide for life conditions at treeline and above on steep slopes.  Crampons and an ice ax / whippet are good tools for an added sense of security.  

While exposed areas were hammered, the surface snow in non-southerly facing facing trees continues to facet and be soft.  Even areas that previously melted from prior day's warm temperatures and cloud cover have recovered all the way down to 7,500'.  If we got a large dump, these surface facets could make it tough for the new snow to bond to.   

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

+2°C @ 10,500' @ 1pm.

-0.5°C @ 10,300' @ 4pm

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