Snow conditions below Dana Plateau

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Dana Plateau East Face
Submission Info
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 2:00pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Rapid warming
Obvious avalanche path
37° 55' 3.8532" N, 119° 11' 59.6832" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Skinned up V Bowl late morning. The snow was already affected by the heat and sun, with minor roller balls. Once into the basin below Dana Plateau, the wind picked up dramatically. It was mostly from the NW, though gusting from W + SW at times. Gusting was intense, with significant transport. In the wind / above treeline the snow was variable: crusty, scoured, wind deposited, windboard.

Dug a snow pit at the edge of the basin, to the NE of Coke Chute. The snowpack was over 295 cm deep there. I didn't get down to any basal / low level faceting. While working on the pit, wind gusts transported snow into the pit / onto me at about 1-2 cm per prolonged period of gusting (2-5 minutes).

The wind slab layer on top of the snowpack was the only part that appeared likely to be unstable, but at no point while touring could I get it to react. Lots of jumping and kicking did nothing, nowhere. I observed no cracking and heard no whumpfing or other noises.

By the time I got back to V Bowl (skier's right side), the open NE slope had melted and refrozen into an unpleasant crust. Shifting back into the gully alongside the trees (slightly more N facing), got me back into pleasant powder.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Precipitation: 
None
Wind Direction: 
Northwest
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

The wind was strong enough to transport small gravel-sized rocks.

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