Esha

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Submission Info
Forecaster
Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 11:00am
Red Flags: 
Rapid warming
37° 31' 18.48" N, 118° 48' 2.88" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Skinned and booted up Esha canyon this morning to look at the extent of the warming for the above average temperatures. Rapid warming conditions with spring snow (where there is coverage) from 8000' where the snow begins in the bottom of the gully up to 10,950 on all aspects. Above that elevation only areas near rock outcrops (like the sides of the chutes) were becoming wet on the N aspect of Esha. Snow further from the rocks was dry previously wind blown snow - either rounding DFs making heavy powder or wind crust. E aspects, where there was coverage were wet through the top 5cm of the snowpack by 920am with supportable melt-freeze crust below. Many recent small loose wet point releases were observed on both sides of the canyon.

The SE aspect of Esha was already transitioned to spring corn and wet through the top 10cm all the way to the top of the peak by 1045am. From the top it was easy to see the intense spring solar effect on the surrounding mountians. A few recent rollerballs on the NW aspect of Morgan North, a few recent D1-D2 loose wet avalanches originating from rocky areas on E-NE-SE aspects up to about the 12,500' elevation were vaugely visible. Very limited evidence of wind loading from the N winds the other day at the top. Tiny drifts seemed well bonded now.

Skiing down one of the main chutes was variable - dry softer near surface facets, breakable wind crust, and soft unsupportable wet snow on the E facing sides of the chutes. Many very small loose wet slides and small rollerballs were easy to trigger near rocky areas on the way down. On the apron below the chutes (11,000') the snow had fully transitioned to good corn skiing with the top few inches wet with a supportable melt-freeze crust below. The time to turn around from the top seems to be between 1045 and 1130am. By the time I got back down to snowline at 1130am boot pen was 25cm and the snow was just starting to become unsupportable an too wet.

Snowpack photos: 
New rollerballs on a NW aspect of Morgan at about 12,000'
Coverage in Esha Canyon
Intense solar radiation, few recent loose wets
Medium sized rollers from turns at 11am
Rapid warming, rapid melting in the choke of the gully at the bottom
Boot top penetration at the bottom by 1130am
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
South
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Rapid warming conditions. Calm to light winds. Intense solar radiation under clear skies.

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