Lee Vining - V-bowl -Snow & Weather conditions

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
V Bowl
Submission Info
Forecaster
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 1:00pm
37° 55' 22.0188" N, 119° 11' 53.6532" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

It was warm and windy today as I toured up V-bowl and up beneath Ripper Chute and the Dana Plateau. It was 43F at 1000am at the truck (7500ft). It was 38F at 1230pm at 9776ft in the basin below Ripper chute and upon getting back to the truck at 130pm it was up to 47F. The snow in the canyon bottom and up to 8400ft was wet and sticky.  It was extremely windy in the high country with southerly winds bellowing a consistent 40-50mph. There was significant wind transport and streams of spindrift flowing off the crags of the Dana Plateau. Snow was actively getting stripped and eroded off most surfaces; if it was loading anywhere, it was up high below the cliffs and adjacent to vertical rocky terrain. A lot of the snow was likely being sublimated in the atmosphere aloft.

Although there were some good supportive turns on the upper half of the main slope of V-bowl, I can’t say that there is really enough snow yet to attain much good or safe skiing in the zone.  Snow totals averaged around 30-40cm up to 8400ft and above that, where wind deposited, up to 60-70cm. It was unconsolidated and a bit trap-door in nature below tree line in the V-bowl area. The upper basins were comprised mostly of exposed moraine and boulder fields.  The aprons of the Dana plateau chutes were strewn with rock, but harbored some decent coverage in certain strips.

I did get one 40ft shooting crack on a pencil hard wind slab on a small north facing break-over on a moraine.  I believe this could be primarily attributed to the slab overlying hollow cavities etc. but it did propagate very fast and was deep ~90cm (see picture).

I initially was going to travel part way up the apron of Ripper chute, but decided against it with the intense winds and very active wind transport of snow in the area. It was to say the least… really raging up there today.

Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
South
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