Snowpit from Hemlock Mountain, above Ghost Trees Area

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Just up the ridgeline from the Ghost Trees area on Hemlock Mountain
Submission Info
Volunteer Observer
Friday, February 5, 2021 - 1:30pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Hemlock Mountain, just up ridgeline of Ghost Trees 37° 44' 27.744" N, 119° 6' 6.588" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Main takeaways for the present snowpack on the NE aspect of Hemlock Mountain: (1) a deep weak layer still exists (2) the storm snow is consolidating (3) conditions are very variable -- warranting caution on the downhill.

 

Toured off J7 at June out towards Hemlock Mountain. Snow conditions on the way out from the resort boundary were very variable, with areas of breakable crust intermixed with some nice soft loose snow. On our way over towards Hemlock Mountain, we saw evidence of recent avalanches most likely from our recent large storm, now with some wind blown on top. Breakable crust alternating with soft loose snow  was the theme of the day conditions wise. Once getting up near the summit, we dug a pit on the NE aspect. While we weren't able to produce any results from an ECT or PST, we did give the ECT column an extra nudge with the shovel, producing a failure on the interface between the storm snow and old snow. Caution would still be prudent, considering (1) both tests can produce false stables (especially PSTs) and (2) abundant evidence of recent avalanches from the last large storm. While descending the Ghost Trees area, we found more breakable crust intermixed with soft loose snow at higher elevations, but upon the descent discovered some decent pockets of powder to link more than a few turns in. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

The most recent wind event led to some less than desirable conditions re: breakable crust at treeline. The solar aspects definitely affected, as they had a bit more moist couple cm of crust on top of looser dry snow. While the wind has definitely taken a toll on our fledgling snowpack, some good riding was still to be found. 

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