Buttermilk Country- Basin Mt, Snow Conditions

East side on Basin Mt
Submission Info
Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 3:00pm
Red Flags: 
37° 18' 34.1604" N, 118° 38' 40.9452" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

We spent the day in Buttermilk country and toured up to about 10500’ on Basin Mt. snow is melting out at lower elevations and we were able to drive to about 7500’ or so. Leaving the car mid-morning the temperature was just below 40°F, winds were relatively light out of the north, and skies were only partly cloudy.  There had obviously been a hard freeze last night as even the lowest reaching snow was supportable.  The sun this morning had warmed up the surface snow enough to make skinning relatively easy up to about 9000’ on an east aspect.  Above 9000’ much care was needed to avoid sliding backward down the supportable melt freeze crust. Needless to say, ski crampons are recommended.  Clouds started building around 12 or so and by mid-afternoon, the high peaks were starting to disappear into the clouds. On the descent, we were able to sniff out a few soft turns in a low angle gully feature but this was short lived.  We opted to descend a gully feature with a slightly more SE aspect and were excited to find that just a few degrees difference in aspect made all the difference.  After a few hundred ft of hard-refrozen snow, the snow softened up and delightful corn skiing made the majority of the descent quite pleasant. I would put the transition at about 10,000’.  Boot pen was never more than 10 cm even as we navigated the ribbons of snow remaining between the boulders below 8000’.

No signs of instability were observed on today’s tour. Moderate, cold winds and cool temps kept the risk of loose wet at bay. We will see what tonight’s storm brings but I suspect that any wind slab hazard today was in isolated catchment zones in the high alpine. There did not seem to be enough fresh snow to pose a significant hazard where I traveled today.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 
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