Fresh snow, variable conditions in the lakes basin

Red Cone
Submission Info
Saturday, January 23, 2021 - 12:45pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 35' 42.8244" N, 119° 1' 25.4388" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Today’s tour to the Mammoth crest via Red cone ridge provided a good dose of the classic “dust on crust” conditions.  The first flurries of the day began at about 10 am this morning in the mammoth area and have continued at light to moderate rates throughout the afternoon.  at the time of writing this, 4 pm MMSA is reporting just over ½” of new snow on the 24 hr board.  This jives with my field observations today. I observed new snow totals from 1-2.5” in sheltered areas and wind deposits as deep as 20cm on leeward terrain features NTL.

Wind speeds were pretty light this morning and increased in speed around mid-day.  On ridge tops the NE winds were a steady moderate with gusts that may have been pushing the strong category.  Temperatures remained below freezing for the entirety of my tour.

After reaching the ridge I observed the top of the main bowl being actively striped by the NE winds and I was able to find some minor signs of wind loading including some small drifts of recent deposit up top 20 cm deep, some very small cornice growth, and some slightly stiffened surface snow.(4f/F) Nothing sizable or concerning but If the snow continues this afternoon, I would suspect potential wind slabs to grow in size and distribution.

My descent provided a good dose of variable crusts below the fresh low-density snow. Luckily the majority of these crusts were supportable and predictable, albeit fast and chattery. Though I also found my fair share of bulletproof refrozen tracks, breakable crusts, and even a few (maybe 3-5) soft faceted turns. There are many areas with only a dusting covering dry patches, large and small rocks, fallen trees and stumps, etc. It’s nice to finally see some snow on the east side but I for one am still tip-toeing in the BC.

Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

light to moderate snow showers, temperatures in the mid-teens and moderate NE winds

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