Snow conditions in Rock creak

Submission Info
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 2:00pm
Red Flags: 
37° 27' 18.486" N, 118° 45' 9.5004" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

It was a warm and sunny day in the rock creek drainage today as I toured from the snow park to pointless peak.  Leaving the car mid-morning, the temperature was 44° f, skies were clear, and a light breeze was blowing from the north.  After skinning the road to the pack station, I climbed a southerly facing gully to my high point at 11500’. On my approach today, I measured new snow totals ranging from a trace 3” with the deepest deposits in sheltered treed areas near the pack station. As soon as I climbed out of the more sheltered areas, new snow deposits seemed to be isolated to small depressions and catchment zones. I suspect not much accumulated in these more wind-exposed areas. Furthermore, on this solar aspect, any new snow that was present was pretty well cooked down, and much of the surface was either melt forms or refrozen melt-freeze crust. The snowpack in this area is very thin. I was happy to find that while only 10-20 cm deep, the snowpack on the apron below the chute was largely supportable, and travel was easy. On the face of pointless itself, much of the hillside on either side of the main gully features is bare earth. Some creative Billy-goating was required to navigate between exposed boulders and manzanita bushes. I turned around about 500’ shy of the summit when slidable snow ran out in the gully I had chosen to climb. Fortunately, the gully I was slightly more SW facing, and the afternoon sun kept surface conditions relatively soft. No signs of Instability were observed on my tour today. It was quite warm today with clear skies and light winds. While climbing, I did notice a couple of areas were boot pen was approaching 30 cm, but this seemed isolated to areas right around exposed rocks. For the most part, I found surface melt to be only 10-15 cm deep.  Coverage on the road is holding and I was able to keep my skis on all the way to the gate.

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Weather Observations
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