TJ Bowl - Winds, snow transport, tests

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Submission Info
Forecaster
Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 11:00am
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Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 34' 49.2528" N, 119° 0' 19.6236" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up from Lake Mary, up Lake Mary Ridge into TJ Bowl up to 10,300', and back down, to check out wind deposits, wind transport, and peak at the underlying weaker snow layers.

Day started off with Blue skies, but quickly became completely cloudy by 9:30am.  Winds were moderate from the west in the morning, and increased to strong by mid afternoon, even at Lake Mary level where some gusts knocked my partner off balance.  (see attached video).  Snow blowing in many areas, over ridges, across slopes.   

Solid 8" of snow in sheltered areas from Thursday's storm around 9500'.  More on leeward aspects where wind deposition occured.  Below treeline wind deposition was still quite light and unconsolidated.    

Skin tracks were being filled in at all elevations in areas with any kind of exposure.  Skin tracks and ski/board tracks from yesterday at treeline and above were either slightly raised or not visible.  (see attached photo)

One pit dug at 9700' on NE facing relatively sheltered slope.  Some clean compression test failures with moderate force in buried faceting layers.  Extended column tests did not propogate.  See attached profile.  Definitly some loose sugary snow which appears to be weakening with the cold temps.  Not concerning now, but if future storms come thru with significant new snowfall, these layers could become reactive and larger than expected avalanches could result.

Another test pit dug at 9900', on a small west facing slope with some obvious wind deposition.  22cm of new snow, slightly harder than fist, ontop of 10cm of previously deposited denser snow, ontop of 10cm of obvious 2mm fist hard facets, ontop of a 2cm faceting/decompsing crust.  One ECT test failed and propogated cleanly, with block sliding off, with moderate force (ECTP19) in the facet layer.  Another ECT test just above the first, failed, but did not propogate.  

Just above treeline, pockets of recent windslabs were found to fail easily with clean shears in handpit tests, up to 4" thick 1finger+ slabs ontop of fist snow.  These pockets were small, and varied greatly across the slope.  Higher up around 10,200', hand pits checking areas with 20-30cm deposits of 1finger- snow ontop of older pencil wind slab failed with moderate force, rough shears, in faceted snow.  

Very limited shooting cracks anywhere.  DId not find any sensitive wind slabs over a few feet wide, but did not make it to the ridgetop, where I'd be more suspicious of bigger more concerning wind slabs to exist/be forming.  

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 

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