Buttermilk Country-Basin Mtn-NE Couloir snow conditions

Basin Mtn NE Coloir
Submission Info
Sunday, January 27, 2019 - 2:30pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Rapid warming
37° 19' 58.2888" N, 118° 38' 35.6028" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Had intentions of  trying to ski a sunny S aspect today, but with completely clear skiers and very warm temperatures decided to stick to the NE classic line on Basin Mountain hoping for some residual windblown powder in the couloir. A bit of good surface conditions, but overall highly variable with breakable crusts, solid windboard and textured areas of packed powder. Dug a 100cm deep pit in an area where average total depths were around 300cm at 11100ft. A very dense consolidated pack was found with some hardness changes found within the first 60cm down from the surface. CTH @ 30cm down and ECTX results. Probing out the area, there was some less resistive snow (likely facets) on the base of the pack that was from 30-50cm in depth from the ground/tallus field. There was no avalanche activity while we were on the mountain but there was multiple class 1 wet point releases that had come off the sunny aspects. 

The biggest natural activity we observed was a wet point release that slid down a south facing gully on Mt. Tom. (See attached picture with slide outlined in RED) R3-D2-N-2000'vert.  It happened at some point in the early afternoon and ran down one of the prominent gully features on the south side of Mt Tom into the Horton creek drainage. 

Upon investigating some south facing terrain on Basin Mountain around 10000ft, there was 90-100cm of snow that I could punch my pole to ground with ease. There was about 5-10cm of very wet snow on the surface with unconsolidated hollow snow underneath. The area I checked out had definitley not been baked down to a supportable snowpack good for pseudo-corn skiing. If seeking sunny aspects for skiing it be wise to choose ones that are supportable, consolidated and not constrained in gully/chute like terrain that has overhead hazards that are getting cooked by solar input and ambient temperatures.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

HOT, HOT, HOT weather today and clear, calm and  with little to no wind on Basin mountain today. At 0830 it was 40F at 7600ft from our starting point on the buttermilk road. At 1230 it was 31F in the shade at 11100ft. There were no clouds or haze in the atmosphere while skiing west of Bishop today.

-- placeholder --

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...