Earthquake Dome Conditions

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Earthquake Dome
Submission Info
Saturday, December 7, 2019 - 2:00pm
Red Flags: 
Earthquake Dome Ridge 37° 39' 56.3904" N, 118° 59' 53.6712" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Went for an afternoon tour up earthquake dome at around 1:15p.  Temps were warm and precipitation was varying between snow/graupel but we figured we might find some fun skiing in the trees, particularly in the upper sections of the dome.

 

We had a relatively wet tour up but conditions were good for skinning - supportive snow with a slight crust above looser snow at the top of the new snow.  Temperatures were dropping throughout the skin. We reached the ridgeline and made our way to the top of the north facing chutes. At 2p or so, we dug a hasty pit just below the ridgeline at the entrance to the far skier’s left chute.  Snow depth at this location was about 90cm and the ground underneath was mostly pine needles.  

Densities looked really good overall - right side up snowpack.  Top to bottom we found about 50cm of Fist, 20cm of 4F, and 20cm of 1F.  Unclear how much of the Fist snow was this storm versus last. A quick ECT yielded mild results at low force.  The uppermost 10cm showed a small fracture at a minor density change at ECT 5. The next 15cm showed a small fracture at a minor density change at ECT 10.  These fractures did not produce slabs so much as a crumbling effect. The rest of the column compressed quite a bit as more force was applied but no additional results.  We did a few hand and pole shears to test the sensitivity of the new snow. Columns were breaking about 25cm down with light force (movement of wrist/fingers behind column).

 

Our conclusion was that the snowpack was mostly stable, but that sloughing was possible in steeper terrain and an isolated pocket releasing was not out of the question.  The main chutes are steep and a bit bony still, it would be hard to outrun even something minor. So we opted to ski the skier’s left shoulder down to the gully and back to the car. Skiing was quite good, best towards the top of the run.

 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Mixed rain and snow
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Snow and graupel, near freezing temps and dropping.  Moderate winds at ridgetop.

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