Mammoth Area - Punta Bardini - snow conditions

Punta Bardini
Submission Info
Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 11:30am
Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Punta Bardini 37° 36' 39.4524" N, 118° 57' 37.404" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

It was good to feel a winter storm this morning with quite blustery conditions and moderate snowfall when I left the trailhead at 930 for Punta Bardini. Temperatures averaged in the mid 20’sF and there was a steady 25-30mph SW wind in the upper trees for most of the morning. Skies began clearing around 12pm. In the Old Growth forest on the north side of Punta, the snow was much less supportable, than I experienced just to the east above Mammoth Rock the day before,  due to less wind effect and heavier tree canopy.  Snow depths under the canopy of bigr trees averaged from 20-40cm and it was only when I got into some more open glades above 9000ft that I found an average of 65cm. New snow from today’s early morning storm averaged 20cm.

I did get some localized collapsing with the most significant whoompfing occurring when I reached the top of the ridge around 9600ft where there was a bit more wind transported snow, producing a denser overlying layer. I got some minor cracking when I approached pockets of deeper snow amongst the trees, but there was no dramatic dropping of the snowpack, just minor surface cracking. I noticed a few very small loose snow point releases that had slid a few hundred feet in the Bardini chutes through steep and rocky terrain. I hit ground, rocks and logs with nearly every slow turn down the hill. It certainly is not open season yet for backcountry riding unfortunately, but it sure was beautiful out.

While breaking trail on the upper mountain, ski penetration was 50cm and when I got off my skis to dig a snow profile I sank quickly to ground level at 60cm.

Snowpit @ 9254ft, 23N Aspect, 27deg slope

HS: 65cm

HNS: 20cm

Bottom 20cm of snowpack was well-developed facets of Fist Hardness.

CT11 Q2 20cm down at new snow old snow interface

ECTP11 @ 45cm below surface at interface between new snow from today/last weekend and old November basal Facet layer at ground.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
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Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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