Snow Conditions on San Joaquin Mountain

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Submission Info
Volunteer Observer
Friday, February 5, 2021 - 12:45pm
Red Flags: 
37° 43' 6.3552" N, 119° 6' 14.67" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Skied off the top of June Mountian, toured up the hourglass, skied the E face of San Joaquin Mountian, traversed back towards hourglass, skied down to Yost Meadow beneath the negatives, and toured back into June to ski back to the car.  It was a warm day worthy of softshells and sun shirts with a light northernly wind that would have been transporting more snow if there was loose snow available.  Since the impressive SW wind event on Feb 3 that reshaped all the terrain, there is little loose snow in this area.  Surface conditions included deeply scalloped sastrugi, smooth supportable windboard, and lightly wind etched grabby snow.  We managed to mostly avoid making turns through breakable crust and we found none of the trapdoor breakable that we feared.  Solar aspects were either moist or featured a 2-4cm melt freeze crust, depending on the time of day/shadows.  

On the E face of San Joaquin around 11,300', there was a supportbale 4-6cm pencil windboard ontop of 4F+ snow that failed with hard force in hand shears and a quick ECT in just the top 30cm failed underneath the windboard, but did not propagate (ECTN 21).  With the intention of investigating the lower snowpack structure, we dug in this area, but perhaps chose a location too deep.  The first probe strike suggested ~230cm, but after digging a hole I disappeared in, subsequent probing proved closer to 310cm.  I got down to 90cm above the ground with a P windslab over 1F decomposing grains/rounds lower down with a 3cm P MF layer at about 130cm above ground.  I did not find any facets here, even adjacent to the MF layer, and if they're more than 220cm below such a stout snow surface, it's hard to imagine applying much force as a skier.  Though it's thinner spots where on could anger a weak base and it's hard to know where those thin spots might be.  

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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