Mammoth Area-Sherwins, Mammoth rock

Mammoth Rock- Sherwins
Submission Info
Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 1:00pm
sherwins 37° 36' 39.6864" N, 118° 59' 36.2544" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

30F @ 9800ft @ 1100am, SW wind at 50-60mph

With expectations set to low after yesterday’s nuclear meltdown, I was pleasantly surprised as north aspects above Mammoth rock in the Sherwins provided dry, cold, blown in surface conditions. East aspects were crusted from the previous day’s sunny and warm temps, Southerlies and West aspects were also severely sun effected and crusted over.  Lower slopes up to the mid 900ft level in open areas has a thin melt/freeze crust while more sheltered slopes still had soft surface conditions with a grainy surface composed of sporadic 3-4mm clustered melt freeze grains. Any slope that was lower angle, received more solar input, and was below 9000ft had a uniform thin melt/freeze crust. Depth of snow above Mammoth rock on northerlies measured from 90-135cm and generally was very easy to probe through. There were some very slight crusts felt at 40 and 55cm below the surface but offered little resistance. The snowpack overall looked to be shrunk wrap upon the terrain with significant settlement, minor snowpack creep cracks surrounding trees, and was quite supportable except for near rocks or other cavities where faceted cavity hoar is well developed.  As we approached ridgeline in more exposed and stepper terrain is where firm underlying wind slab was established a few hundred feet downslope from ridge top. There were no signs of instability anywhere.

Upon topping out near the Hose, we were met with stiff southwest winds that I would estimate were upwards of 60mph with higher gusts. We nearly got blown over tying to transition and it was tricky to get skins stripped and the skis put back on to descend. Cloudy conditions were rapidly increasing at 100pm and snow was actively being stripped and sublimated within the turbulent atmosphere. By 230pm the Sherwins were becoming enveloped by cloud and some robust graupel was falling in town.

The southern part of the forecast zone is looking more and more devoid of much, if any, contiguous snow anywhere.  The high peaks again today were being raked and stripped of their last remaining pockets of snow.

Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
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