Blowing Snow and Snow Profile on Red Cone

Submission Info
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 11:30am
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 35' 52.44" N, 119° 1' 25.68" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up from the end of Old Mammoth Rd. to the top of Red Cone to watch and test forming winds slabs and to dig another profile of our early season snowpack. Skied down the lower angled W facing side of Red Cone Bowl through the Horseshoe Piles to Horseshoe Lk., and back out the Tamarack ski tails.

Prevailing winds from the W all day, but channeling across the Mammoth Crest made for a variety of localized wind directions on the ground. Temps were cold and visibility occasionally poor. Most of the snowfall overnight seemed to be graupel. Snow transport was occurring even at lower elevations (see attached photo of blowing snow at 8600' across the NW aspect of the Sherwins--Mine Shaft). Winds were moderate and gusty. Lots of blowing snow across the Crest (see video Looking SE from above Lk. George towards Blue Crag). Like the winds, blowing snow was also coming from varying directions locally, but N and W aspects were getting loaded between Lk. George and the top of Red Cone. Jumped on recently wind loaded N and W facing test slopes at 9500' with limited results. Some localized cracking (<3' long) of soft 2-10cm deep wind slabs with soft wind broken snow underneath. Profile revealed a complex early season structure similar to what was seen a few days ago near Deadman Pass with a similarly weak overall temperature gradient. Compression Tests had inconclusive results (see attached Profile). Over all snow depth only about 75cm.

Picked my way down looking for wind blown powder between breakable wind crust and rocks. Found better skiing in trees that were less exposed to the winds. Even at upper elevations I was happy to have my rock skis, but I found some good turns.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Blowing snow at 8600' on the Sherwins-Mine Shaft
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...