Convict Area - Mono Jim Peak - snow conditions

Mono Jim Peak
Submission Info
Sunday, January 19, 2020 - 1:30pm
Mono Jim Peak 37° 34' 8.3604" N, 118° 50' 56.9184" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Another quite warm and grey day in the zone, at 8500ft/1230pm it was 42F. It was a sweaty ascent whacking up through the mountain mahogany and thin coverage on the moraine which access’s Mono Jim peak and beyond. Looking back there was more snow in the area on Dec 10th last time I visited than there is now over a month later. The January winds really did some damage to the Convict Lake area.

There was from 15-25cm of new snow and it was rapidly shrinking in the steamy conditions today. Old Man’s bowl averaged about 20cm new in the gut of the bowl and was bonded very well to old snow surfaces.

I dug a shallow pit on the north aspect of Old Man’s Bowl and found 225cm of total snow. There was 25cm of new settled Fist hardness powder sitting on top of 50cm of Knife hardness, almost glacial like old snow.  Barely being able to probe, the entire pack below the new snow felt very, very firm, from knife to pencil hardness. I could barely saw through it, it was so firm. Even though there was a drastic hardness difference between the new and old snow, I couldn’t even pull off the new snow from the super firm surface-- it was fairly welded on in this area. Only the top 5cm of new snow which were a bit wind affected and slightly firmer would come off in a thin cohesive block. For fun I did some Compression tests and an Extended Column test with no results on the new/old snow interface. It was 35F at 130pm at 10000ft with no wind.

It was dead calm in the area today as I walked over Mono Jim peak and down to the central East facing gully. The central channel still had coverage and it skied relatively well, but took muscle to plow through the thick welded new snow.  There was from 60-90cm of total snow in the east gully and was composed of 15-20cm of F new snow on top of 5-10cm P wind board, sitting on top of 50-60cm of looser faceting rounds that were 4F in hardness.  Bad structure and something to be aware of if we ever get a true sierra dump with big snow totals and weight.  The new snow felt a bit suspect, but it did not budge at all even on 40degree slope angles and with forceful turns and ski cuts. No cracking or sheeting of the new snow on firm surfaces, again, it felt and reacted like thick welded paste. Obstacles and shallow thin coverage conditions are the standard in this area.

Snowpack photos: 
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