June Lake Area- Snowpack and Weather conditions-Chicken Wing

Chicken Wing
Submission Info
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 2:30pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 45' 21.8088" N, 119° 2' 7.0152" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Breaking a skin track was work today with the punchy new snow and wet surface conditions below 9000ft. Travelling up Chicken Wing, the new snow averaged around 2-4" and was being transported by strong W and SW winds. There was minor cornice and wind pillow development adjacent to the summit ridgeline on the eastern leeward side.  There were no signs of instability when stomping and ski cutting the wind drifts adjacent to ridgeline. This area is below tree line and is fairly protected, so conditions would likely be much different and potentially more dangerous in the alpine environment. Things got more interesting when I started to ski the NE aspect and stepped off my skis to dig a pit. I sank waist deep through the new storm snow of this past weekend and into the older faceted snow beneath. (See attached snowpit) Stability tests showed definite fracture potential (CT11 @ 75cm and CTV SC @ 75cm) at the new snow/old faceted snow interface, but did not show propagation potential on a ECT (ECTX). Although the snowpit showed some weak structure, there were no observed signs of instability while travelling up or down chicken wing. There was also a lot of settlement taking place as evidenced by cones around trees and vegetation.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

The sky was 100% covered during my tour. Light snow at 1230pm turned quite heavy (S2) at 330pm. At 9700ft winds were consistent out of the SW and W and were blowing in the 25mph range and gusting into the 40's; air temperature at 230pm was 25F. It had obviously rained a bit up to 9000ft before preciptation turned to snow.

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