Punta Bardini Snow Conditions

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Old Growth
Submission Info
Forecaster
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 12:45pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 36' 40.9032" N, 118° 57' 38.3328" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I toured up to about 9400’ ion the old growth area of Punta Bardini today hoping to evaluate developing storm slab instabilities.  No recent avalanches or wumphing were noted and only localized cracking was observed. Easy hand sheers and stability tests identified about 15-20 cm of non-cohesive storm slab on the surface. I suspect with additional weight this may become more reactive.  I did not venture too far up the ridge to evaluate wind loading but plenty of snow was moving on the ridge top and I suspect wind slabs would be touchy. 

We dug a pit on an NE aspect at about 9400’ on a 35°slope.  HS-295cm

Stability tests highlighted two weak layers within the new storm snow one about 20 cm from the surface and one about 45 cm from the surface. No propagation was noted in my extended column test.  I was able to find faceted grains just above the Feb 14 rain crust a little over a meter from the surface.  Stability tests did not trigger this layer though after my ECT test only light pressure was required behind the column and the entire block broke on this layer and slide into the pit.  While no formal data can be construed from this, the high-quality sheer gave me pause. Certainly, a layer to track on as the overlying load increases. 

Ski quality was quite good today. There was an upside-down feel to the new snow although the higher we went the less noticeable this was. Above 9000’ the new snow was notable lower density than at lower elevations. I would describe it as “spongy” powder skiing below 9000’.  

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

we started on old mammoth rd this morning because access rd to the propane tanks was closed.  The temperature was warm, with light snow showers and the winds in the moraine were moderate.   The snow picked up around noon to s1-2.  Significant transport was observed on the ridgeline but no wind slab was observed in the more protected old growth area or on exposed areas at lower elevations.

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