Snow conditions on the NE side of Bloody Mountain

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Bloody Mountain
Submission Info
Forecaster
Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 12:30pm
Red Flags: 
Rapid warming
37° 34' 12.594" N, 118° 54' 2.736" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

  Went for a walk up to Bloody mountain today hoping some high elevation northerly terrain might have been spared the heat from the last few days. We were able to drive to almost 8000’ before snow impeded our progress. The road is a patchwork of thin supportable snow patches and dry gravel from here to about 9400’ and we found ourselves discussing how tennis shoes would have been a good addition to the kit for today's objective.  There was a party ahead of us and without knowing their destination but suspecting it was likely bloody couloir or the Y,  we opted to head to a nice looking ramp on a more NE facing slope off the shoulder of Bloody mountain.

Above 9500’ or so we encountered our first soft snow and found ~20 cm of snow in sheltered northerly areas. on more sun effected slopes we observed MF crusts 1-10 cm thick.  Snow totals stayed pretty consistent (20-30 cm) as we climbed higher. Surface conditions above treeline were primarily wind textured pow with a few isolated areas with more substantial wind board. climbing the chute I observed a couple of areas where the wind board was supportable and hollow feeling. These seemed isolated in nature and located in cross-loaded catchment zones to the sidewalls near rock outcroppings. Above 11000’ snow totals in the gully were substantially less and areas of the old surface snow were exposed and very hard and slick. The top 2-500’ or so was pretty scoured and looked slick and chattery. We decided to transition before hitting the ridge.

I observed several old loose dry avalanches on the east face of No Name peak which appeared to have run during the storm last weekend. In addition, I also observed several fans of rollerballs on sunny aspects near and below treeline from today. All of these seemed to start near cliff bands. This was a little surprising given the increased winds and high cirrus clouds that prevailed throughout the day. I would have expected more of this over the last two days.  Several hand pits along our ascent showed the new snow bonding well with the old. I also dug in at 11,000’ in the chute and found the new snow to be right-side-up despite the very hard old snow surface, well bonded. See Profile for more details. We did observe some minor spin drifting and small amounts of blowing snow today but no significant signs of recent wind loading were observed. 

 

 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 
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