Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 12:00pm
Slogged up to 8800' over low angled terrain on Panorama Dome mid-day. 65cm of upside-down storm snow. Mix of snow, grauppel, and rain at the trailhead (8300') was mostly snow by 8400', S-1 to S1. Breaking trail and pole probing consisted mostly of falling through the denser top 15cm of moist snow and sinking 2-3', the full depth of the storm snow. Winds were SW and moderate to strong. Plenty of blowing snow and wind transport if exposed areas. Winds and snowfall increased, and visibility decreased, by 1pm so I called it a day. (See video for general conditions.)
Small well supported test slopes had shooting cracking and collapsing. Steeper test slopes consistently released D1 wet storm slabs that entrained the full depth of the storm snow: crowns and flanks 65cm deep on NE facing slopes steeper than 35 degrees (see photos). Adjacet slopes had natural D1s that had released probably right before I got there (earlier this morning).
There appeared to be newer D1-D2 natural released just E and W of Mammoth Rock as well as from the Poop Chute, however visibility was poor.
Just trying to get around out there is a chore, let alone avoiding the avalanche hazard.