Fresno Bowl to Mammoth Crest - Snow warming

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Fresno Bowl to Mammoth Crest out to Tamarack
Submission Info
Forecaster
Friday, January 15, 2021 - 12:30pm
37° 35' 57.0408" N, 119° 1' 53.958" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Headed off the backside of Mammoth Mtn about 11:15 down Fresno Bowl to enjoy some nice corn turns on a SE aspect on the way to the Mammoth Crest.  They were indeed nice!  ...just a little thin getting to them.  SE to S facing snow was perfectly supportable to skis up to 11:30, SSE facing seemed on the verge of becoming unsupportable much after 11:30 at 9700'. Here ski penetration was a creamy 2-4cm, while bootpen was to the ground (all the way thru the isothermal moist 35cm snowpack).  Air temp here was a balmy 13°C / 55°F.  The west facing side of the bowl/gully was still cold and unsoftened despite the sky being 1/4 to 1/2 covered with high clouds.    

Dug a pit on NW aspect at 9500', which was not surpsingly dramatically different than slopes with southern exposure.  Triple the snowdepth, and still a wintery cold snowpack.  See attached profile.  November facets still here as soft as 4finger minus.  Compression test failed at 30 taps on the lower facet layer, and a modified deep-tap extended column test failed and propogated at the top of the upper facet layer with 23 taps (modified in that all the snow was cleared off the column 30cm above the backside of the upper facet layer).  A regular ECT test did not fail at all on these deeper layers.  These test results show that the somewhat questionable structure here is strengthening ... still there, but taking more force to react.  It's important to remember that test results are only a piece of the puzzle. When looking at the big pcture right now, there simopy isn't much to worry about in terms of stability, save for some potential for small loose wet slides on steep solar aspects as they heat-up too much.

Continued on down and over to Mammoth Pass and up to the crest-top.  The NE facing slope below the ridgetop was quite variable from loose facets to barely edgeable windboard and back again within 15ft. Beautiful pleasant day to be wandering along the crest top, with only light SW breeze that felt refreshing with the heat of the day today.  Headed down the easterly slopes of Red Cone a bit after 2, and they were starting to re-freeze slightly, but it seems the partial cloud cover was keeping them warm and making the process take longer than usual.  At 10,400' @ 215pm air temp was still 12°C / 54°F.   Snow on Northerly facing terrain up to ~9800' at 2:30pm was getting dense and moist (again, thanks to increasing afternoon clouds).  Things were still getting a bit sticky at mid elevations down to 8600', but not nearly as badly as it sounded the previous couple of days, as each day the transition should be a little better. 

Remember to wax those skins!  ... and a little rub-on wax for the ski bases can help a little too on the way out.  

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Looking down stripped upper Hollywood Chute w coverage of Back side of Mammoth Mtn in background
coverage - NE slope crest above Mcloud Lake
upper stripped slope of chute skier's right of Red Cone Bowl proper
Mammoth Crest - Jaws filled in to ridgeline
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