San Joaquin Ridge - East Side - Snow Conditions

San Joaquin Ridge-East Side
Submission Info
Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 1:30pm
San Joaquin Ridge 37° 40' 53.94" N, 119° 3' 20.4264" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Our long day of skinning led us to some fun skiing on the east side of the San Joaquin Ridge.  Found some large cornices on the leeward edge of N facing aspects (see picture). They were overhung and I did not venture near them to test the sensitivity.  The 1/9 storm (20cm) still provided excellent surface conditions and had very little wind effect from 9800 ft down on N and NE aspects. There were a few firm 1F or P windslabs, but not extensive in nature nor so widespread that you couldn't avoid them.  The wind loaded snow for the most part was well bonded and easy to ski through. Ski cutting and pushing on sections did not produce any results. Did not hear or experience any collapsing or whumping today. There were a few dry snow small (D.5) point releases in the cirque we skiied that occured during or just after the 1/09 storm.

HS: 220cm at 9600ft N aspect, 210cm at 9400ft NE aspect

The overlying slab from the 1/5-1/6 storm averaged 50-60cm and was (4F) in hardness overlying 120cm of (F) to (1F) rounded faceted snow. On our second run, the overlying persistent slab was already loosing cohesiveness and was beginning to facet in the cold zone we were skiing. Below 8800ft there was very well developed near surface facets (see picture) from 3-5mm throughout the forest. Settlement cones and rings around trees (see pictures) showed that last weekends storm and underlying snow pack had settled significantly in the last week.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
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Below Freezing
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More detailed information about the weather: 

Superb Sierra day and nice and cool... the way we like it to keep the snow good. Moderate winds from the East were blowing all morning as we skinned the SJ Ridge. At our elevation there was no blowing snow, but snow banners could be seen in the high mountains on the drive up 395 and off Mammoth Mountain in the morning hours. The sun was out with clear skies and there was just a hint of melting on a Southern aspect as we booted up during our travels, but there was good skiing to be had even on SE aspects today.

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