Buttermilk Country-Basin Mtn-snow conditions

Basin Mtn SE shoulder
Submission Info
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 12:00pm
Basin Mountain SE shoulder 37° 17' 56.7384" N, 118° 38' 48.1452" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Had the goal of reaching some higher elevation steep terrain today to check out conditions. Decided on Basin Mountain outside of Bishop and some NE facing terrain that resides on the viewer’s left of the mountain.  Although snow line was quite low which negated having to walk very much, it was super thin and challenging as the pitch increased. At 9600ft I could finally find some ribbons of grippier cold snow instead of the slick melt freeze crust that encapsulated everything below. Surface conditions improved around 10000ft in sheltered tree’d northerly terrain where there was still some residual powder.

 I dug a pit near 11000ft and found a pretty bomber snowpack with a few upside down hardness changes (1 step:  1Finger underneath Pencil Hardness), but nothing of significance or anything that produces results on block tests. In fact I couldn’t get anything to fracture on multiple column tests. A strong shovel shear test pulled the Pencil hard upper layer off of a 10cm 1F layer about 55cm below the surface.

I did not find much wind slab until about 11,400ft. At that point there were large panels of smooth looking 10cm thick Pencil hard surface slab primarily in constrictions and some convexities where the wind had done its work. There were still equally large zone of textured snow that wasn’t slab and offered safe travel both up and down.  The wind slab was a bit drummy and in hand pits pulled off the underlying 4F snow with moderate force. Upon skiing down and testing the edges of wind-board/slab I could this surface wind board was unreactive, but I also aired on the side of caution and did not venture into the meat of it. Loose snow sloughing was not an issue or problem at all, minor in volume and running length.

Snowpit @ 10,964ft aspect=30degNE,  37deg slope,  26.5F @ 1200


CTN x2

STH@55cm below surface (Shovel Shear Hard)

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
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