Convict New Snow, facets, winds

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Mini Morrison (Mono Jim)
Submission Info
Forecaster
Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - 12:00pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 34' 35.796" N, 118° 51' 10.7352" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up and down the north facing gully on Mini Morrison this morning to check on new snow and possible upper elevation wind loading.  Light fluffy new snow throughout from ~18cm down low at lake level to ~30cm+ above 10,000' at the ridgeline.  Suprisingly no denser wind deposited snow anywhere, even at the very top of the ridge at 10,100'.  Periods of moderate gusts over the ridgetops resulted in some visible plumes, and higher ridgelines that I didn't visit may harbor a wind slab.  

Dug in many places throughout the ascent and found a widespread structure of underlying melt-freeze crust below the new snow with developed, all-be-it small, fist hard faceted grains below that.  In some places it was realtively thin layer of fist hard, transitioning to 1 finger toward the ground, and in other shallow areas the fist hardness went to the ground.  The melt freeze crust varied form 1-5cm, thicker in lower elevations.  ECT tests consistently propogated in the mid-elevations.  Check out attached video.  The foot of light unconsolidated snow ontop of this crust facet combo did not lead to stability concern, but seeing the winds at the ridgeline made me concerned of finding wind slab ontop of it higher up.  But as I mentioned, snow stayed light and soft all the way up. 

 

 Some minor D 0.5 natural dry loose snow point releases occured today.    

Quite a shallow snowpack overall, with plenty of areas to reef out on rocks if one isn't careful.  But staying in the gut of the gully and being cautious, snow quality was excellent.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Inversion
Small natural loose point release
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
More detailed information about the weather: 

Beautiful day with an obvious inversion.  395 was soupy, but arriving at convict lake the mountains could be seen thru the thinning low cloud layer.  Calm winds except at the ridgetops with occasional moderate SW gusts blowing snow into pumes.  -2°C at noon at 10,100'.  0°C at lake level at 12:30 (7500'), and -4°C back at the HWY and Crowley.    

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...