Hemlock Ridge - Behind June Mtn

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Hemlock Ridge - Behind June Mtn
Submission Info
Forecaster
Monday, March 6, 2017 - 2:00pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 44' 31.848" N, 119° 6' 4.1472" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

-Toured around June Mtn side country west of ski area between 8800' and 7500', and Hemlock Ridge up to 10,100'.

-June Mtn ski patrol avalanche control results: none except for one small slide (R1-D1) on upper mtn.

-No visible evidence of natural slides anywhere, but with all the wind it is quite possible natural slides occured during storm and evidence was blown away.  

-Windy day, but less windy than day before, all lifts open today (none yesterday).

-Wind effects seen throughout, except for most protected areas.  Hemlock ridge trees which are normally fairly protected from winds were very wind effected especially on western edge where predominante winds were coming from.  Eastern edge still wind effected, but much less so.  Treed areas below 9100' that weren't on windward side (west side) of ridges held much softer less consolidated snow.

-Dozens of hand pits and hand shear tests performed, with very variable results.  In more protected areas with more of a storm slab, hand shear tests resulted in no planar shears, and bonding appeared very good to underlying old snow surface.  In general it appears this storm came in very right-side-up (denser layers below lighter layers) in protected areas.  However, where wind deposited snow, most concerning results where in pits around 9,000' with Pencil to 1 finger wind slabs of thicknesses up to 14" ontop of 5cm thick  Fist+/4finger- which failed upon isloation or with easy force.  

-Test pit dug ~9900', NNE facing slope where wind deposit existed.  15cm pencil layer ontop of 15cm Fist+ layer ontop of thick 1 finger layer.  ECTP21 in Fist+ layer. 

-Around 9200' many NE facing slopes where found to have a concerning thin 2cm thick melt freeze crust under new snow, with 3-5cm thick Fist+ facet layer under this crust, which failed consistently and cleanly with easy force or upon isolation under the crust.  Failures did not occur with ski cuts or kick tests on this layer, but hand shear tests produced consistent clean failures.           

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Clear day.  Started off quite windy with large banners blowing off of peaks such as Mt Wood.  Winds died down a bit around noon, then picked up again in the afternoon.  

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