Mammoth Lakes Basin Snowpack Observation

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Lake George Ridge
Submission Info
Member
Monday, January 25, 2021 - 11:30am
Mammoth Lakes Basin 37° 36' 10.4652" N, 119° 0' 58.0032" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

We did a little tour with our AIARE 1 Class today to look at snowpack structure and spacial variability.

We found very light density new snow between 10 and 17cm in depth.  The overal snow depth was variable depended on elevation and aspect. 10cm to 90cm was observed.  On sheltered north facing aspects the depth was more consistent with 47-90cm of snow.  We kept our skiing to these aspects where there were less likely to be shallow or rocky spots in the middle of the run.

In the snow profile pictured above it was easy to see the different layers in our snowpack and assees the relative hardness of the layers.  The weak snowpack structure was not as prominent in this location, but of note was the pencil hard melt freeze crust supporting 17 cm of new snow.  At this point the overlying snow is not deep enough or nearly strong enough to create a slab, but we are certainly thinking about what this might mean when we get a large dump of new snow on top of a firm, smooth sliding surface.

It has certainly been nice to feel the bite of winter again, but we are still concerned about the shallow snowpack and buried obstacles until we get significant new snowfall. Then maybe we'll be looking at an entirely different set of hazards in the form of avalanches.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Static
Wind Direction: 
North
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Very cold day, which go slightly milder toward the afternoon.  It was lucky the winds in the Lakes Basin were Calm to very light.  There were snow flurries, but not significant accumulation during our tour.

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