VA Lakes

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Dunderberg East Shoulder
Submission Info
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 3:00pm
Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Dunderberg East Shoulder 38° 4' 19.0812" N, 119° 14' 28.248" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

We wrapped around the East side of Dunderberg in search of some low angle turns in sheltered terrain. 

4 in. of medium density new snow in this area seemed to bond well to the existing snow surface and exponentially improved the skiing conditions on top of the sludge capping accumulations from the last storm cycle (Sat-Mon).

W and SW aspects observed were completely stripped by prevailing winds and had only patchy/thin coverage.  SE and E aspects were wind scoured in any exposed terrain with deposition in lee features.  We experienced one large collapse in a cross-loaded E meadow that was sporting a thin, rotten snowpack overloaded by a 1-3ft. hard wind slab.  This area is representative of many areas (such as Tioga Pass) that harbored a thin, weak snowpack prior to our latest barrage of wind and snow and now are adjusting to a sudden load of 2-4 in. SWE. 

Terrain that was holding a healthy snow pack prior to the most recent storm cycle seems to be adjusting to its new load.  We experienced only local collapsing (adjacent to skis) in these areas at the near-surface density inversion.  This “upside-down” snowpack still feels scary and will keep me avoiding steep slope angles and high consequence terrain until it settles additionally and the previous snowpack has sufficient time to adjust to the new weight. 

VA Lakes Road is still plowed and open but constricted in places due to heavy wind-loading.  Enjoy the access while you can! 

Photo 1: Ski Pen in sheltered terrrain: 20-30cm

Photo 2: Location of collapse: Looker's right row of trees.  

 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
West
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Moderate W winds and S1 precip departing via Dunderberg Meadow Rd at 1:30pm, Calm winds and S1-S2 precip during our exit at 4pm

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