Red Cone - WIND!

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Red Cone Area
Submission Info
Forecaster
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 11:00am
37° 35' 43.404" N, 119° 1' 35.8932" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured out to Red Cone from the Tamarack X-country trailhead this morning.  Windy morning, even at the car!  Changed plans of heading out to the Crest (Hammil Bowl or TJ) to heading to Red Cone to keep a bit more sheltered from the winds.  See attached pic of micro cornice and blown in edge of tamarack cross country trail, and video of snow blown into suspension around the Crest.  Any exposed areas were found to be wind affected, and although the prevailing ridge winds are out of the SSW, lots of cross slope variability lower down.  All of Red Cone Bowl proper is hammered, with the west face being stripped and the north face appearing scalloped, without the classic smooth pillow appearance just below the ridge indicating recent wind slab deposition.  Stomping on cornices along the northern slopes just resulted in blocks sliding down firm surfaces, and minor cracking when ski cutting along this ridge.  We suspected there are areas where the blown snow is being deposited into sensitive slabs, but we hunted and couldn't find the right sweet spot locations today.  We stayed out of the unappealing bowl, and stuck to skiing the treed east slope above crystal lake, which was fabulous bouncy pow all the way back to the x-country trails.  Dug a pit along the way on a SSE facing slope at 9800' to check out how the melt-freeze layers were bonding.  And bonding very well they are, except for the most recent thin surface melt-freeze sun crust.  Easy CT failures below this crust, but just not enough mass above this crust to be concerning at this point.  See attached pit profile.  

To sum it up, the thing to watch out for is recent surface wind deposits that could be sensitive to human triggering.  Assess these deposits as you go!  Besides these possible surface instabilities, all indications so far are of a bomber early season snowpack.                  

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Wind effects on Tamarack x-country trails
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
More detailed information about the weather: 

Strong south westerly early morning winds seemed to be diminishing slightly before noon.  Warmest day in a while, with temps above freezing by mid morning at 9000'.   

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