Mammoth Crest - Hammil Bowl

Hammil Bowl
Submission Info
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 12:45pm
37° 34' 14.2752" N, 119° 0' 2.862" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Planned to tour up to the Crest today, but had second thoughts at the tamarack trailhead at 8am when wind was wipping snow around even at this low elevation.  Still, we decided to head that way, and if conditions weren't pleasant above tree line we'd stay in the trees.  Winds seemed to decrease as we went, with little visible snow transport over the ridgetop, so we topped out above Hamill Bowl at 11,350' around noon.  Calm winds actually most of the way except just at the ridge top there was a moderate consistent south breeze.  Soft snow above a melt-freeze crust in the trees up to ~9800'.  Above that conditons were variable in exposed terrain, from firm windboard, to soft wind desposited snow, to a little soft ontop of firm.  None of the wind slabs we encountered today were recent, and hand pit failures ranged from not-at-all to planar but with hard force.  The soft snow deposits also showed signs of good bonding.  

We dug a pit at 9500' in an open area between trees on a ENE facing slope, see attached profile.  Faceting snow was apparent below the recent melt-freeze crust, and CT and ECT tests failed moderately on this layer but did not show signs of propogating in the pit we dug.  The crust does seem to be deteriorating / faceting away, and the temperature gradient of the upper snowpack supports that.      

On our return skate around Lake Mary, winds were again moderate coming out of the SW across the lake and blowing snow readily (see attached video).  I imagine some isolated areas exist out there where wind transported snow is being deposited into sensitive slabs today, but we did not have luck finding them.  Exposed southerly slopes above tree line were quite wind stripped, which may have something to do with the lack of new slab formation.

Skiing conditions were variable above tree line, with some mid-mtn areas of great boot top powder, others supportable windbaord, and some punchy areas too.  Below tree line was quite smiley :-)

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
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