Top layers of new snow on Mt. Olsen still transitioning

Mt. Olsen
Submission Info
Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 7:30am
Mt. Olsen 38° 2' 39.3864" N, 119° 14' 27.4524" W
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Skinned up the looker's left bowl on Mt. Olsen today. Left car at 7:30 and trailhead temp was 55 degrees. Due to the warm overnight and morning temps, I stuck to NW aspects on the ascent and decent, under the belief that easterly aspects might lose cohesion early, even with the thin cloud cover and wind.

Snow near the bottom was soft but boot penetration was only a few inches. Snow at the top was mix of some soft but mostly firm and slick crust. Skinning was easy until near the top when ski crampons would have helped but were not necessary to continue ascending. However, a bit of a slide for life concern did cause me to attach my whippet.

Dug a quick hand pit about halfway up on NW aspect. Top layer was a 2" melt freeze crust that popped out on isolation. Below that was a 6" layer that appeared to be settled new snow that was still transitional. I could not get the 6" layer to pull out. It was hard to tell what was going on under that layer as it did not seem to be planer. Maybe old suncups?

My takeaway was that the new snow from May has not gone through enough melt freeze cycles yet to lose its layering. Maybe the cold night time temps and sun this weekend will help the process.

Began decent at 8:45 with breezy conditions and thin cloud cover. The skiing was good with the snow conditions already softer than the ascent, but supportable top to bottom, making for fun turns.

I noticed little evidence of instabilities today - from a distance I saw what appeared to be some relatively new slide debris on an easterly aspect on Black Mtn.

Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
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