Snow conditions in the lakes basin.

Horseshoe lake area
Submission Info
Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 12:30pm
37° 36' 17.3448" N, 119° 1' 23.8944" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I went for a tour around the lakes basin today and got a good sample of multiple elevations and aspects. Last week's warm temperatures really took a toll on the already minimal snow coverage and a variety of surface conditions are making for challenging skiing.

I headed up the red cone ridge this morning and descended to horseshoe lake via some northerly facing trees. Wide swaths of bare ground now exist at all elevations that last week held slidable snow and surface crusts are widespread, ranging from fully supportable ice sheets to breakable and terrifying. Surface crusts have started to facet out on shaded northerly aspects and if you can find un-touched terrain, no easy feat at the moment, turns were predictable and pleasant with only a very minor zipper crust above soft near-surface facets.

After descending to horseshoe lake I made my way to the southerly facing terrain on the backside of Mammoth mountain to see if the sun today was able to soften things up a bit. On due souths at around 11:30-12:00 I found about 1-3 cm of warmed surface snow that provided some pleasant pseudo corn skiing but the coverage on solar aspects is abysmal and I found the biggest challenge to be navigating the fallen trees, bare patches, and exposed rocks.

We dug a pit on an NW aspect at around 9000’ and found HS=49cm and a mostly right-side-up and largely faceted snowpack. Stability tests did not highlight a layer of concern.  See profile for more details. No signs of instability were observed on today's tour.

Let’s all continue to do our snow dances and hope for a change in pattern soon. We could really use a healthy dose of snow.

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

it was a beautiful day today in the mountains with sunny skies, light to moderate winds, and temps right around freezing.

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