Gillcrest Peak, East Gully- snow conditions

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Gillcrest peak
Submission Info
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 12:30pm
Red Flags: 
Steve Mace 38° 0' 50.7312" N, 119° 13' 35.8932" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I toured to the top of the East gully at around 11000’ on Gillcrest Peak today from the Lundy lake dam. Leaving the car at around 10 am skies were overcast winds were moderate out of the south and there was some decent snow falling.  Touring up Deer creek towards the base of the East gully was easy and surface conditions consisted of supportable melt freeze crust with a trace of new snow on top.  I was able to skin to about 10300’ up the gully before throwing the skies on the pack and booting the remainder of the ascent. I had expected to find more new snow but at most I found about an inch of fresh snow above 10000’ there was some wind transport occurring on the ridge top and I was able to find a small wind loaded pocket with about 4“ of deposition, but no concerning wind slab.  Most wind affected snow I observed today was a thin~1cm` wind skin. Boot packing was relatively quick and did not require crampons. At around noon the boot penetration above 10000’ was about 10 cm.  

Descending was pleasant. The minimal fresh snow helped add a creamy feel to the ski and the supportable melt freeze crust below was edgeable and predictable.  After reaching deer creek I noticed the fresh snow was a bit more sticky giving a strange sensation of speeding up when the skis were up on edge and slowing down when straitening them out.  Below 9000’ or so the surface snow on a NE aspect had warmed up enough to be very pleasant corn like snow.  Boot pen when I reached the car at about a quarter to 2 was still only 15cm. 

I observed one pretty sizable loose wet slide on the north side of Gillcrest.  This size D2 avalanche appeared to have run a few days ago, likely during the warm-up last weekend.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

When leaving the car at 10 am the skies were overcast and snow was falling. By the time I had reached the base of the east gully the storm had moved on and skies were partly cloudy. This remained true for the rest of the day, though there were occasional flurries. 

1:230- 10300’ 28°F BP 3 cm

1:50- 7500’ 42° F BP=15 cm

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