I stuck to the trees today given the flat light conditions and in pursuit of trying to find some softer snow surfaces after a long tour yesterday. Traveled into the Eastern side of the San Joaquin river valley and found good snow conditions on northerly slopes until about 9200’ where it became quite sticky. Snow depths were from 60-90cm on average from 9800ft down to 9200ft. Settlement cones were evident and the snowpack looked to be shrink-wrapping the forest floor.
There was a moderate SW wind at this altitude and was 36degF at 1200. It was quite overcast today, but opened up for periods during the early afternoon. No precipitation.
The most interesting points found in the snow pit I dug were that the basal facets in this location where significantly rounding and this 30cm layer with a decomposing melt-freeze crust in-between had gained hardness to the 1F- scale. I did not get any results to speak of with CT and ECT’s. Undoubtedly the warm temperatures have played a large role of late settling and strengthening the snowpack here in the lower elevations. The temperature gradient throughout the profile as well was the most homogenous I’ve seen without a steep difference between the surface and ground.
Snow pit @ 9,303ft, 340NNW Aspect, 32deg slope
CT12 Q2 @ 70cm