Multiple PWL found on Punta Bardini

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Old Growth, Punta Bardini
Submission Info
Forecaster
Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 2:00pm
Red Flags: 
37° 36' 36.8208" N, 118° 57' 37.0944" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I went for a tour in the Old Growth area of Punta Bardini today.  I dug into the snow in two locations to get an idea of how the buried persistent weak layers were reacting to time.  While poor structure was present in both locations, my test results were very different.  On a north aspect at around 9700’, I found a largely consolidated right side up snowpack. I was not able to find buried surface hoar at this location.  Compression test highlighted a layer of buried near surface facets about 60 cm from the surface however I did not get any results from my ECT test.  

My second pit on an NW aspect at 9500’ was more exciting.  Here I found a well preserved buried surface hoar layer mid pack that was reactive to my tests (ECTP12 Q1 SP). Large grained, loose facets making up the bottom 30 cm of the snowpack were also reactive. (ECTP18 Q1 SC)  The big take away for me today was the importance of considering spatial variability throughout the landscape. Buried Surface hoar always get my hackles up and finding well-preserved SF today more than a week after they formed reminded me that this layer will likely persist for some time to come in specific locations. Though the depth of the snowpack varies a lot over even short distances, the presence of two PWL less than a meter from the surface gives me pause.  

On a more general note, I was able to find pleasant powder skiing on shaded north slopes today. This seemed somewhat altitude dependent though as things got sticky as I dropped below 9000’.  Globing on both the ascent and descent were a factor for me today at lower elevations.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
Air temperature trend: 
Static
Wind Direction: 
North
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

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