Buttermilk Country-Mt Locke- new snow conditions

Wahoo gully
Submission Info
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 1:00pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 15' 42.6024" N, 118° 38' 49.83" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

It was a beautiful, crisp day in the mountains, the new snowfall making the range pop with brilliance. Headed up to Mt Locke and the Wahoo gully to see how much snow fell in the southern part of the forecast zone. It was nice to actually have some cool temperatures which kept snow nice throughout the whole day.

It was 13.7F @ 1100am @ 10660ft and 10F @ 100pm @ 12320ft

Did not observe any natural avalanche activity within the basin that the northerly face of Mt Locke resides, but I did not venture up beneath Kindergarten chute where I could see if anything had ran in the upper basin. It was confirmed that there definitely was not as much new snow here as the northern part of the forecast area received. From 9500ft up to 11000ft new snow totals averaged 10-15cm and above 11200ft and up in the narrowest part of the Wahoo gully 20-30cm was the average. Some cross-loaded zones had upwards of 35cm. Above 12000ft the gully was wind stripped and between 12K down to 11500ft new snow had a moderate 5cm surface wind board that had stiffened up to a 4F- 1F hardness, the majority of new snow below the surface board was  4F in hardness and cohesive. In these upper reaches I could pull off cohesive blocks in handpits with moderate force. Below 11000ft the snow was Fist hardness and very light in density. There was a light northerly breeze and the sunny start to the day gave way to increasing clouds by 11am. Cloud cover was broken and moving and there was ample timing to be able to ski in good lighting.

Upon ski cutting more loaded zones and drifts that were stiffer, I was not able to get anything to crack or propagate. For the most part the new snow was well bonded to the old snow surface and stayed put while I descended. There was not any sloughing observed, but to be noted the Wahoo doesn’t quite reach 40deg in slope angle. Imagine in steeper terrain, one could of initiated some dry snow sloughing today.  It was good to get a real check on how much snow fell in the south part, and with it being so windy in Bishop yesterday I thought there would be more wind slab formation, but that wasn’t the case.....atleast today I felt fine being in such terrain for the days tour. Mountain winds were swirling a bit and I snow was already starting to be effected and redistributed as I departed around 3pm. No wet loose activity observed.

Snowpack photos: 
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