Hard and slick surface conditions in the Sherwins

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Mammoth Rock
Submission Info
Forecaster
Monday, February 17, 2020 - 1:45pm
37° 36' 38.106" N, 118° 59' 28.1976" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Ski crampons were certainly recommended equipment in the Sherwin’s on our tour above Mammoth rock today. Widespread MF crust from yesterday’s warm-up has left a slick supportable surface everywhere between the car and our highpoint at 9500’. Our investigations found the crust to be between 5 and 10 cm thick and to be knife hard. While we decided not to venture up to the ridge top, I have to imagine this crust exists to some extent at least that high. 

Digging in at our high point we found a largely faceted but upright snowpack below this crust. The crust itself broke on all of our tests under isolation but no other layers identified themselves as overly concerning. See profile for more details. Temperatures remained just below freezing for our tour and unfortunately, things did not soften up for the descent. We tiptoed our way back to the trailhead seeking smooth-ish panels of snow between the raised tracks and wind-affected surfaces. I suppose we were grateful that this crust was supportable and edge able as opposed to breakable trapdoor. No signs of unstable snow were observed during our outing, but a fall in the wrong place today could have led to a long slide and possibly a close encounter with a tree.  

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Mostly clear skies prevailed today with the occasional light breeze from the north. Temperatures remained below freezing but only just.

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