Localized cracking on melt-freeze crust at low elevations

Hilton Moraine
Submission Info
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 9:00am
37° 33' 25.0596" N, 118° 45' 40.1292" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Touring at lower elevations this morning on the Hilton Moraine (~8,000ft), I found a widespread approx 2" thick melt-freeze crust on the surface that consistently produced localized cracking with every step. No shooting cracks and no whumphing, though. Hand shears showed the crust layer popping out cleanly with almost no force, or even just upon isolation. The crust is sitting on approx 4" of what appears to be last week's snow (fist hard), which appears to be sitting on the old rain crust (knife hard). By the descent, the crust was buried under a few inches of soft new snow, was actually supportable, and provided nice skiing. This might be a layer to keep an eye on in lower elevations with the new load of snow coming.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Accumulation rate: 
Greater than 1 in. per hour
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