Significant snow totals, surface instabilities in June Lake

Hemlock Ridge
Submission Info
Thursday, December 26, 2019 - 12:00pm
Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 44' 36.3408" N, 119° 6' 3.5712" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I skied off the top of J7 down to Yost meadow and up Hemlock ridge to get an idea of snow totals in the June lake area today. 12” was reported by ski patrol at June mountain this morning, and my field observations confirmed this to be accurate. I observed storm totals ranging from 45-65 cm depending on the elevation.  Needless to say, surface conditions were quite pleasant.  Winds were very light out of the north with periods of moderate gusts observed at the top of Hemlock ridge.  I did not, however, observe much snow transport at all, and the trees held their load of new snow throughout the day. I observed several signs of increasing storm instability, including several Size 1 loose dry avalanches, some minor cracking from my ski tips.  The upper snowpack is very light, and even with the high snow totals, storm slab potential was low. I did find the upper 6-8” of the pack to be reactive to hand sheers and compression tests, but there was little to no propagation propensity where I was today.  That being said, loose dry avalanches were very likely today, and there is a lot of loose surface snow available to cause a serious problem in steep confined terrain.  Upper elevations remained shrouded in clouds all, day and I was not able to get a feel for the winds at higher elevations. I descended skiers left of Yost creek to the Four Seasons, and while the ample new snow made for a fun descent coverage is still very thin, and caution is recommended.  All in All, it was a lovely day in the mountains.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
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: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Overcast skies and snow showers prevailed in the June lake area for the entire day. Temperatures were cold with the highest recorded temp today being 21°F at noon at 9000’. Light winds with the occasional moderate gust out of the north.


1200-@9000’ 21°F light winds, S1

1300-@10200’ 19°F moderate N winds, S1

1340- @9800’ 14° F light winds, S1


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