Snow conditions on the south side of Dunderberg

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Dunderberg peak
Submission Info
Forecaster
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 11:00am
Red Flags: 
38° 3' 34.02" N, 119° 16' 6.4524" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Leaving the car at 10 am this morning I feared I may have been a bit late to head for the south gully on Dunderberg peak in the Virginia lakes area. My fears were put to rest when I got to the bottom of the gully and found the surface snow still hard and frozen. Solar aspects are continuing to deteriorate and there are two areas of exposed rocks on the approach to the base of the chute that required removing my skies to cross. After the second I decided just to dawn my crampons and boot the rest of the to the top. I found an old boot pack that made for easy climbing. Stepping off to the side periodically I found boot pen ranged from 2- 10 cm. Only minimal surface melting was observed, and I was glad to have the crampons.  The temperature remained below freezing all day and a light to moderate wind kept things feeling chilly. I reached the top of the snowfield at noon. The upper part of the chute is quite thin and peppered with rocks. Slidable snow ends about 200’ shy of the ridge.  The temperature was 20° f at my high point (12000’) and moderate winds were blowing from the southwest. At this elevation, I found about 40 cm of snow composed of ~25 cm of MF crust overlying unconsolidated 2-3mm facets. I did not expect that more time would lead to much softer surface conditions, so I transitioned and made my way down. Surface conditions were locked up and hard for the first 500-1000’ or so. Below 11,000’ I found the surface to be slightly softer on direct solar aspects but even still ski penetration was minimal. Even a few degrees of aspect off and the surface remained hard and slick. Cold temperatures and light to moderate proved enough to keep things locked up above 10000’ today in the Virginia lakes basin, no signs of instability were observed. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Skies were mostly sunny today and temperatures remained well below freezing for the entirety of my tour. Light to moderate SW winds kept things chilly.

1000 @9700’ 30°f, Mostly Sunny, light W wind

1100@10500’ 29°f, mostly sunny, Light SW winds 1 cm moist grain/ MF crust

1230@12000’ 20°f, mostly sunny, moderate SW winds, 25 cm MF / Facets

1 pm@9700’ 29°f, mostly sunny, light SW winds

 

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