Old Man's Bowl - Snowpack and Conditions

Old Man's Bowl
Submission Info
Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 1:15pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 34' 11.964" N, 118° 51' 10.1772" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured out of Convict lake today to the ridge at the top of Old Man's Bowl at 10,700'.  Mostly calm winds with some occasional light SW gusts, even at ridgetop (no visible wind transport in sourouding mtns). 3/4 of the sky covered with clouds, warm above freezing temps in afternoon at lake level, but chilly below freezing above 9000'.  

Evidence of a handfull of recent small D1 wind slab avalanche's noted in above tree line E to NE facing terrain.  These appeared to have mostly occured yesterday during the loading event, save for a larger D1.5 coming down from NE terrain above Old Man's Bowl that likely occured toward the end of the previous Dec 1st storm.   

Some very minor cracking observed today in isolated pockets of recent wind slab deposit, otherwise no signs of instability noted, granted we did not travel in steep alpine terrain where more sensitive wind slabs may linger.  

Fairly shallow snowpack throughout, ranging between 1 and 2ft total depth.  Most of the above treeline exposed terrain had signs of previous wind effect, lots of areas of dust on crust.  "Dust" from yesterday's storm ranged from 3" at lower elevations to 6" at upper elevations.

Dug test pit at 10,500' toward the top of Old Man's Bowl on East facing slope.  2 disctinct wind crusts existed.  CT tests were reactive above and below the upper crust, but ECT tests did not propogate.  See attached profile.  

It appears a fair amount of settling and wind stripping has occured since Tim's previous observation here on Dec 1st.  We avoided hitting rocks skiing Old Man's Bowl proper by avoiding obvious shallow areas (mostly dust on crust, with a now and then punch thru the crust).  Ski out of gully along bottom of east face was slow and scrapey at times.  Picking our way down the moraine was suprisingly not bad, but I think we made a good choice of a more open slope. Hopefully coverage will be way better after this weekend's storm.          

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: 
-- placeholder --

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...