Lakes Basin Conditions

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Lakes Basin Conditions
Submission Info
Member
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 3:00pm
Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Lakes Basin Conditions 37° 35' 7.0296" N, 119° 0' 3.312" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

We recycled a skin track up above the Lake Mary Ridge in order to reach the shoulder between TJ Bowl and Hammil Bowl.  There were significant impacts of the wind on the surface of the snow.  This was a big change from yesterday where the effects of the wind were pretty much non-existent even up higher in the terrain.

Kick tests and hand shears showed slab formation on the surface.  Some of our hand shears failed on isolation of the column.  In the kick tests cracking was observed that shot out 4-6 feet out in front of the ski and blocks were kicked off underneath the skis, but slabs did not propagate or fail making an avalanche.

In our skintrack at around 10,400 feet we experienced one significant collapse.  This was on our second lap and it was a reminder that faceted, weak grains still exist underneath the new snow.  As the new snow continues to form a slab the collapses may become more common as the snowpack feels the weight of a skier ore boarder.  There is a possibility these slabs could fail at the interface between the new and old snow as was observed in TJ Bowl by multiple parties.

Snowpack photos: 
Wind Transport on the Mammoth Crest
Stay in your lane.
Air Temperature near the Mammoth Crest
A good representation of our snowpack.  New Snow/Old Snow interface and buried weak layers.
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

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Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
South
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

This morning was sunny and breezy as we left the trailhead.  As we toured up into the trees the day warmed and it was pleasant skinning temperature.  Up high in the basin the air temperature was -9.3 degrees C or about 15 degrees F.  Winds were calm, but gusted moderate at times bringing a chill to the air.  Clouds were in and out throughout the day and came back in with snow starting by the time we reached the car at 5:00 PM

Wind transport was visible along the snow surface and along the Mammoth Crest.  See photo and video titled 'Wind Transport'

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