Table Mountain (Bishop Creek) wind loading

Table Mountain
Submission Info
Sunday, March 3, 2019 - 12:15pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Rapid warming
Table Mountain 37° 14' 32.0388" N, 118° 34' 27.5124" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Decided to check on conditions in Bishop Creek after yesterday's new snow. 

Started at 4 Jeffreys parking (8200ft) at 0930.  Temps above freezing and parking lot in full melt already. Clear skies and strong SW/W winds noted over most ridge tops in the drainage. Significant snow transport noted, though no real wind at the parking lot. 

New snow at 8200 ft=10cm. We skinned NE and NW aspects to ~9400 ft. Moderate to strong winds above 8600 ft with significant surface transport. Enough transport that our skin track was 1/2 to 3/4 filled in by our second lap. Wind loading noted on NE-N-NW slopes.

Skinning was variable on N and NW slopes above Bardini Canyon. Snow depth 5-25cm depending on wind loading. We dug multiple hand shear pits, generally failing with moderate force on old rain crust/melt freeze crust. In more wind loaded rolls, hand shears broke cleanly into 2 layers. My guess is one layer was new snow above knife crust and the other layer was soft wind slab. No cracking or whumping on these slopes and ski cuts on load rolls produced only minor cracking that did not spread or propagate. 

We did observe a small avalanche which probably occurred today. It was hard to get a clear view of the starting point, but appeared to start below NE/E facing rocks. I would estimate the slide was 10-15 ft wide and ran 300-400 ft, approximate starting elevation 9000ft.  See attached photo. 

A small (10 ft wideX8 inch deepx50 ft long) slide started below one of our ski turns. All skiers were safely away by the time the slide started. Bed surface was knife crust under new snow. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
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