Mammoth Area - Punta Bardini - snow conditions

Punta Bardini chutes
Submission Info
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 1:00pm
Punta Bardini 37° 36' 41.6304" N, 118° 57' 36.7524" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

It was quiet in the woods today. South wind was gusting at ridge top in the moderate range and blowing a little bit of snow around. Pretty cool as well, 21F at 1pm at 9300ft. There were some faint flurries of new snow in the early afternoon with broken skies in the Mammoth area.

Skiing above 9300 ft was really good as there was enough new snow to mitigate bottoming out on the rain crust. Below 9300 it was variable, but at least I was staying on top of the crust and egressing out to the parking lot was a breeze.

The rain crust is still hanging in there, although showing signs of deteriorating “faceting-out” and becoming less pronounced already. The snow directly below this layer is also becoming weaker and shows signs of angular faceting on some of the grains. The cold overall temperatures since the storm have likely accelerated this process a bit. 

On an Extended Column Test I was able to get an ECTP12 to propagate beneath the rain crust (~20cm below the surface). The entire block collapsed and stayed in place; I had to pull the block off with my shovel with some moderate force which interprets as a resistant planar result. This set up could prove to be problematic if it was loaded with quite a bit of weight, how much is unknown… 1” or perhaps 2” of SWE “Snow Water Equivalent” may do the trick? A skier weight does not seem to be an effective trigger right now. I did some heavy ski testing today in steep terrain in the form of ski cuts and forceful turns checking for pockets of instability and didn’t observe any cracking, collapsing or other signs of instability.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
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