Snow conditions No Name peak

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Submission Info
Forecaster
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 1:45pm
Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 35' 46.8312" N, 118° 55' 42.312" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I was able to drive to 8000’ on my way out towards No Name peak in the Laural Creek drainage before large snowdrift halted my progress.  From here, I was able to dawn my skis and travel up the thinly covered road to the base of No Name peak. Leaving the car coverage was minimal, and at times I am fairly confident I was moving on no more than the three or so inches of fresh snow. By the time I made it to 9000’ new snow totals were closer to 30 cm, and the overall coverage had significantly improved, albeit still thin. Totals increased gradually as I made my way up to 10200’ on the NE shoulder of No Name peak. At this elevation, there was close to 45 cm of new snow. 

No signs of instability were observed until I reached the ridgeline, where signs of recent wind loading were abundant.  Hollow drum-like snow surface, recent cornice growth, and fresh sastrugi indicated that the prevailing wind direction has been from the south-southwest and probing around I found slab thickness to range in thickness from 2” to 18” and to range between 1F+ to P+ in density. Kicking on a couple of obvious cornice features, I found these areas of wind deposit varied in thickness and sensitivity. The thickest deposits were located immediately off the ridgeline on the leeward sides and slab thickness thinned quickly as I moved downhill from the ridge. In the areas I examined today the slab seemed to disappear abut 100’ from the ridge. 

I dug a test pit at 10100’ about 10 ft from the ridgeline on a NE aspect. At this location, I found 110 cm on total snow with about 17 cm of wind slab (1F+/F) that was reactive to my tests. (ECTP5) and I also identified a very poor structure in this location. (See profile for more details)

While I did not see propagation on the lower week layers in my tests today, I identified the new snow old snow interface as my primary layer of concern. This is due to the large faceted grains, as well as the thickness of the potential slab above. 

Surface conditions were pleasant as I descended back to the car, and I was able to keep my skis on back to the car despite the very low coverage. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
None
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