Pine Creek - Gable Creek - snow conditions

Submission Info
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 8:00pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
37° 18' 48.5964" N, 118° 41' 24.2052" W
Snowpit Observations
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Took the day to head up Gable creek to the Four Gables Peak zone in the PIne Creek area today. Following roughy the summer trail up was ardous in the morning with set up very firm conditions where wet-loose slides had slid through the forest and the rest of the snowpack having a minimal 2-3" crust on top of isothermal snow. There were numerous wet slides at lower elevations all orginating from cliffs and gullies which had been heated in previous days. Its quite steep to get up around the first corner and thetrestles from the old tramway... there was some postholing involved. The preceding traverse up the west side of the Gable creek gorge was probably the most hazardous part of the day, its not a place you would want to take a slide as you would careen down into Gable creek. Once getting into the upper Gable lakes basin a south breeze was kicking up to moderate speeds and by 11am the clouds for the next weak storm system were starting to enter the area. There was still cold powdery snow on NE-NW aspects in the rolling bowl from 10500ft up to the Four Gables peak area. Northerlies in the upper basin above 11000ft had 3-6" of powder and the NE couloir on the Four Gables escarpment was quite deep and nice from 12600ft down. A foot or more of F+ to 4F- snow laid in the sheltered chute with little to no sign of major wind effect. Did not experience  cracking or other signs of instability. Skiing down produced very minimal sloughing and was soft top to bottom. There was fairly significant cornices along the Crest and there was one observed recent cornice fall that had produced a D1/1.5 slide composed of falling cornice debris. The overcast conditions and a few very light snow flurries in the afternoon kept the day cooler and warming effects were not that great. There was some brief periods of greenhousing and what felt like warm conditions, but again overall it was a cooler day. The crest and higher peaks were becoming totally obscured around 130pm when we skiied out. There was some good corn skiing and some mush on the way out of the lower gable lakes basin. There were a few patchs of unsupportable snow down lower, but we primarily stayed on shady aspects and off easterlies or south aspects that had still received a decent amount of solar input today.

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Weather Observations
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