SF Big Pine - 15-20cm new snow

sf big pine
Submission Info
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 2:00pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Rapid warming
37° 5' 32.2008" N, 118° 26' 19.0284" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

The clouds, warm temperatures, and filtered solar made for steamy conditions mid-day on the hike up the lower reaches of SF Big Pine. Upon starting to skin in the lower reaches below 9000ft it was awful glopping on the skins and no amount of skin wax would mitigate the stickiness. I relegated to hiking, and after almost aborting the mission, and was certainly glad I didn’t, as above 9500ft and heavier cloud cover in the late afternoon made for cooler snow conditions and the ability to put the skis back on the feet, and subsequently skiing boot top powder conditions from 12000ft to 91000ft.

There were numerous D1 point release avalanches that had slid mid-storm or perhaps with the first warm up Wednesday primarily on NE-E aspects and from 9300ft up to 11000ft. Debris in one slide that I took a close look at was as deep as a meter and around 3-4meters in width. It ran from a forested area on a NE aspect and I was unable to see what the vertical drop was, but probably not more than a 100meters or so. New snow totals in this area were from 15-20cm, and where not sun affected were composed of light Fist hardness snow comprised of new precipitation particles. On my travels up, I did not encounter any slab, only this new very soft layer that was well bonded to old surfaces and made for excellent skiing on the way down. I did not experience or find any instability ascending 35deg slope angles up to 12000ft.

It was 37.5F @ 1400pm @ 9101ft and  23F @ 1630pm @ 11854ft

Biggest hazards were low tide conditions with only certain sections of the slope having enough coverage to ski down safely.  Although it was quite warm down low, I did not see any loose wet activity either from greenhouse conditions or solar heating.


Snowpack photos: 
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