Isolated Stubborn Wind Slabs: Roadside Attraction in Lundy Canyon

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
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Forecaster
Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 3:00pm
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38° 1' 28.0524" N, 119° 12' 39.96" W
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After driving up to Virginia Lakes Rd and seeing that it's still closed at the bottom parking area we turned around and headed to Lundy. Walked a short distance up the road from the lower gate, found a place to cross the creek, toured up the W end of Roadside Attraction to ~8700' near treeline looking for wind slabs, turned around at 330pm as visibility quickly deteriorated, traversed E on the way out and skied back down to the car.

Snow down on the road and up to about 7800', both on the way in and out, was moist on E and S aspects. Melt-freeze crust on N aspects. A few very small point releases down low on the S facing side of the canyon where the snowpack was too thin for anyone to ski. Above that everything was wind effected in one form or another.

Older wind slabs from yesterday were 4F to P hard and new, small wind slabs were forming on top were 4F to F+ hard. Slabs ranged from 5cm to 20cm thick. A few areas of localized cracking less than 1m long (see cracking photo). Hand shears failed on isolation or with easy force under 4F hard wind slabs on F hard recent storm snow (see hand shear block photo). Test slopes only had localized plating or short cracks. Test profile on a NE facing 20 degree slope at 8600' where the wind slabs were thin (see profile). Sudden planar results showed potential for fracture initiation, but ECT results did not propapgate.

It was already starting to snow near the pass at the top of the canyon when we got there at about 1pm. Lots of moderate W winds and light to moderate blowing snow onto E and NE aspects (see video). By 330pm the showers moved down canyon and the winds increased seriously reducing visibility and we turned around.

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