Snow conditions in the Mini Morrison area

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Mini Morrison
Submission Info
Volunteer Observer
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 4:15pm
Red Flags: 
Rapid warming
Mini Morrison 37° 34' 9.2316" N, 118° 51' 3.3912" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured out of Convict Lake up to Old Man's Bowl on Mini Morrison.  On the skin up the moraine weaving through the sage, we noticed wind deposited snow on the lee, E sides of the gulleys and some wind scouring and a melt-freeze crust on the windward, W sides.  Once up on Tobacco Flats, the flats were developing a meltfreeze crust, but the rest of the terrain with a northerly pitch has thus far been spared from the sun.  Found a buried SH layer 10-20cm deep in hand pits on NE, N, and W aspects around 8500-8600'.  Dense windslabs (10-20cm) above the SH layer failed in handshears with moderate to hard pulls on a planar fractures.  Few of the SH crystals were vertical and most were decomposing. 

The E chutes on Mini Morrison are filling in; some partially buried avi debris is still visible at the base (see photo).  

In lower Old Man's Bowl, 10-30cm of dense powder mostly cover some old avi debris.  On E and NE aspects around 9900' in the bowl, hand shears failed with hard pulls on 30cm planar fractures.  It is possible these were on buried SH layers, but if so the crystals have mostly decomposed and flattened.  The upper 300-400' of the bowl to the ridge was overalin by 10-15cm dense windslab that made for punchy turns.  No shooting cracks or other signs of instability were observed.  

We did find some basal facets on a thin (70cm HS) W aspect at 8600', but did not dig down to search for deep facets in the bowl.  

Snowpack photos: 
North side of E face of Mini Morrison
Nearing the ridge of Old Man's Bowl
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Northeast
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Above freezing at the start of the tour at 0930 and warm all day.  Only a calm breeze felt along the whole tour with no wind transporting snow in the bowl or below.  We did see some consistent small ribbons of blowing snow off the very summit of Mt. Morrison.  On the ski down the moraine back to Convict Lake at 1500, we saw some roller balls trying to collect snow.  

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