Snow conditions in the June lake back country

Solar Bowl, Negatives
Submission Info
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 1:00pm
Red Flags: 
37° 43' 56.2404" N, 119° 5' 56.5836" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

We toured off the top of J7 today at June Mtn and descended to the meadow below the Negatives.  Surface conditions in the sparse trees on a northwestern aspect were primarily comprised of breakable melt-freeze crust with the occasional area of loose surface facets. we opted to climb the solar aspect of the negatives rather than brave the hard and slick stretch through the hourglass and were able to reach the top of the ridge without taking our skis off. As we climbed, we encountered a variety of surface conditions from hard refrozen crust to softer melt grains.  The most interesting surface we encountered makes up the majority of the solar aspects. “Candy corn” and “softened peanut brittle” were both candidates to describe the 3-dimensional snow, but it could also be described as small penitentes or sun cupping. While they broke restively easily under our skis, they are certainly not a phenomenon we are used to seeing in February. Looking across the way at more shaded aspects, they look wind hammered and scratchy. Reaching the ridge at noon we decided that we were not likely to see things soften much more and decided to descend via “Solar bowl”. Surface melt was limited to direct solar aspects today and while we found some soft turns by staying close to exposed rocks on more south-southwesterly terrain features much of the descent was still locked up. After our descent, we made our way back to June mountain and dug a quick pit on a westerly aspect along the way. We found 77 cm of total snow at this location and fount a largely right-side-up snowpack. Stability tests did not highlight a layer of concern. (see profile for more details)

All in all, it was a beautiful day today with clear skies and light winds and no signs of unstable snow. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Skies were mostly clear today with the occasional cloud moving overhead. Temperatures were chilly but warmed above freezing this afternoon. light winds prevailed out of the SW for most of the day with an occasional gust to moderate.

1100 @9500' 32°f light SW wind, Mostly clear skies

1200 @11200' 24°f moderate SW winds, mostly clear skies

1 pm @9300' 36°f, Calm, clear skies

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