Thawing on Red Cone

Submission Info
Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 11:00am
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Rapid warming
37° 35' 43.44" N, 119° 1' 34.32" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up the E end of the usual approach to Red Cone above Lk. George to track the day's warming. Skied E aspect down to Crystal Lk, down to George and back down the Tamarack ski trails. *See map for data points.*

Although weather is usually considered a 3rd tier factor in snow stability, today the story was different. There were much more thin high level clouds than expected, and the N winds that were forecasted to be light were stronger, in the moderate level at the ridgetop by 11am. This caused two seemingly opposite things: 1) S and E aspects and higher elevations were much slower to warm today, and 2) lower elevations and more northerly slopes warmed earlier and deeper.

Refer to the attached map for data point locations:

Wx1- Sky=Broken- clouds (mostly cloudy with thin, hazy clouds), Wind=Calm, Ski pen=0cm, Boot pen=55cm, Tair=8 deg C, Tsurf=0 deg C, T-20=0 deg C (snow warming deeper than yesterday), Surface snow=Moist rounded polycrystals.

Test slopes negative- Tried to trigger some loose wet point releases on small but steep rolls above Lk. George. Snow not wet enought yet. No results. Ski pen=5cm. First sign of light NE winds.

Wx2- Sky=Broken-, Wind=Light, NNE, Ski pen=5cm, Boot pen=40cm, Tair=5 deg C, Tsurf=0 deg C, T-20=-0.5 deg C, Surface snow=Moist rounded polycrystals.

Wx3- Sky=Broken-, Wind=Moderate, N, Ski pen=2cm, Boot pen=25cm, Tair=5 deg C, Tsurf=0 deg C, T-20=-2 deg C, Surface snow=Dry melt-freeze crust formed on sastruge, 1F hard.

Small test slope results- Ski cut a few very steep (45 deg) E facing rolls. Small but touchy (easy to skier trigger) loose wet results.

Several Recent D1 N LW-Photos- 11:25am. Several loose wet avalanches had released naturally from the Lake George cliffs (E facing) either yesterday afternoon, or just before I got there. Hard to tell, the tracks and debris was very crisp, but it didn't quite seem warm enough yet today. Definately recent (past 24hrs). See attached photos.

Separate note: W and N aspects at the top of the Bowl were mostly 1F and P hard sastrugi and previously deposited wind slabs. I kicked and kicked at a few, but nothing. Someone looked like they found a little friendlier snow in the dead center of the Bowl about 20 minutes before I got to the top (but that's based solely on their tracks).

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Air temperature: 
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 
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