Mammoth Area - Minaret Vista snow conditions

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SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Minaret Vista
Submission Info
Forecaster
Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 1:30pm
37° 39' 4.3632" N, 119° 3' 39.2724" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

There is some minor cornice development building on alpine ridges around 11000ft, but nothing of significance yet.  Did not observe any physical signs of instability today while skiing around. Yesterdays storm seemingly welded itself in where it was pasted by the S-SW winds. The new snow had definitely hardened and lost some moisture overnight up high, but it did not seem brittle. There was a bit of melt freeze crust below ~8800 ft where the snow must have been quite warm and wet during the storm. Above 8800ft on the N aspects the snow had stayed fairly cold except for where the sun is starting to hit it. North-facing trees harbored cold snow around the 10000 level and new snow measured up to 6"  in sheltered areas. Although supportable in most places average depth of the snow is 30cm on the S aspects and 80cm average depth around 9000ft N-NE aspect. West aspects in general tend to be pretty stripped, but there were cross-loaded ribbons built up along terrain features and bands of trees that provided good skiing today.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
South
More detailed information about the weather: 

It was a beautiful clear morning with calm winds. Temperatures got quite warm by noon (Low 40s at 9000 ft and 29F at 11000 ft). Sunny aspects at 1030am were already warming and softening up, but not enough for any loose wet activity.  S winds got stronger and skies became progressively overcast in the afternoon. 

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