SF Big Pine - Norman Clyde glacier - snow conditions

Norman Clyde Glacier
Submission Info
Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 2:30pm
Red Flags: 
37° 4' 46.2612" N, 118° 28' 40.476" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up the South Fork of Big Pine today up to 11,200ft on the Norman Clyde Glacier before weather and visibility closed in around 1130am. Mostly sunny skies with slight overcast started the day and warmed snow surfaces just enough that there was quite good corn skiing below 10,200ft on sunny aspects. Northerly aspects throughout the drainage had 1-3" of windblown soft new snow from the previous days squalls. Was planning on heading up a bit further, but an icy south (~30mph) wind, cold temps (-6C) and flat light turned me around in the bowl below Norman Clyde peak. It never got warm enough this morning to initiate any natural wet-loose activity. I did not observe any windslab either, but I was not able to get up to higher steeper terrain where previous wind loading potentially took place. The upper Northerly slopes looked like they had a mix of wind shorn hard surfaces and a mosaic of softer wind deposited snow. The drainage has a deep snowpack with some windloaded areas in the drainage having over 500cm of snow. That was neat to see and it was also a treat to essentially ski right from the end of the road. The road is now plowed all the way up to Glacier lodge. 

It was  completely calm and mild until 1115am, then the skies switched to grey very quickly and with it, the wind immediately started blowing. It was primarily from the south where I was in a N-S oriented drainage. The Palisade crest became increasingly socked in and enveloped by the time I left around 1230pm. Snow was actively being transported to northerly aspects in the basin as I skiied down. Skiing was great with some shallow soft dry snow turns on northerlies and perfect smooth corn with minimal ski penetration all the way down on sunny aspects. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 
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