Rock Creek snow coverage

Rock Creek Rd up to Mosquito Flats TH
Submission Info
Volunteer Observer
Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 3:15pm
37° 26' 6.5832" N, 118° 44' 48.9804" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up Rock Creek Rd to measure snow depths, check out the coverage, and to see what's up with the most recent new snow.  

The road is fully covered all the way to the snow park closure.  In the surrounding area at 9,000', ~15-30cm of faceted snow is overlain by a breakable 3cm thick P crust, either rain or melt-freeze crust.  1-2cm of new snow was noticable above the curst only in the shade.  Not enough snow in the surrounding area to ski.  

At 9800' off the road, W of Rock Creek Lake, we measured 30-50 cm total with 10cm of storm snow above slightly more cohesive facets with variably distributed crust in between.  A thin, <0.5cm, layer of graupel tops the storm snow in most areas above 9800'.  Areas that recive all day shade from trees had no crust, so potentially this was above the highest snow level during the storm and revieved no rain, only snow.  A breakable 5-10cm P melt-freeze crust was found in the sun with the storm snow already condensed.  Not enough snow in the surrounding area to ski.  Rock Creek Lake was mostly covered with ice, but I'd probably not ski across it (see photo).  

At the Mosquito Flat TH at 10,200' we measured 30-90 cm total with 10cm of new snow and the upper most thin layer of graupel above rounds.  The breakable melt-freeze crust was not obersved at these elevations.  We hiked around in the trees around E of the summer TH through the best coverage of the day, but still with rocks only 10-20cm below the surface (see photo).  We saw isolated 5-10 cm thick windslabs on the lee side of small 1-2m high ridges that were reactive to hand shears.  

Might be better coverage up even higher above 10,400', but that's all the time we had.  Skied the road back down to the snow park.  

Snowpack photos: 
Rock Creek Lake
Coverage at 10,200'
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

The day started out cold and sunny, but warmed up to above freezing by 10:00.  The cloud cover increased to be mostly overcast by noon and the day cooled off.  Only the occasional calm breeze.  Did not notice any transporting snow along any of the ridges. 

-- placeholder --

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...