Snow Conditions in Rock Creek

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Hourglass Chute, Mt. Dade
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Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 4:30pm
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Hourglass Chute 37° 22' 44.1588" N, 118° 46' 25.266" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Skied into Rock Creek yesterday 3/20 to spend the night with the intention of skiing the Hourglass and the SE face of Mt. Dade.  

Left the trailhead 11am on 3/20 with warm temps and 2-3" of new snow that quickly saturated in the sun and was very sticky on the road.  Even with skin wax, we had to occasionaly let the skins dry off in the sun.  Camped up between Long Lake and Treasure Lakes.  The lakes past Mosquito Flats TH were all frozen and crossable.  We saw potholes with running water 5-6' deep in the creeks conecting lakes.  

Today 3/21 we woke up to 1cm of new snow overnight.  We got to the base of the hourglass around 0800.  It was snowing needles very lightly with calm south winds.  NE aspect about 12200' 34 deg slope HS >320cm, hand pits showed 1cm F+ wind deposited snow, 15cm F new snow above 4F old windboard.  Hand shears in the lower part of the chute showed no results, my hand pulled through with no fracture- see photo.  Higher up in the Hourglass, the 15cm new snow overlay a 5cm thick P hard wind slab.  Hand shears with this denser old surface produced a fracture at the interface, but the new snow did not hold shape or appear to have the cohesion for a slab.  We observed some minor wind transport into the chute.  

The top of the Hourglass was stripped to talus as was the SE face of Mt. Dade, see photo, and so we skipped the summit trip.  Ski cut the skier's left entrance to the Hourglass with no results, no sloughing.  Skiing was pretty good soft turns though often hitting the bottom supportable crust.  

On the ski out, it started snowing more heavily but still less than inch/hour with calm-moderate NE upcanyon winds.  Travel out on the Rock Creek Road was very slow with the new snow.

Snowpack photos: 

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