VA Lakes &Dunderberg Peak snow conditions

Dunderberg Peak
Submission Info
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 11:30am
Red Flags: 
38° 4' 0.5952" N, 119° 15' 27.4572" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Folks have been getting after it in the Virginia Lakes area! Tracks were visible just about everywhere and there was multiple parties skiing today. Most of the alpine was pretty wind affected with visible sastrugi and raised tracks. With the warm temperatures and almost complete lack of wind I decided to ski a sunny aspect on Dunderberg Peak. My protected gully proved to ski pretty good around noon—although thin.  The sunny aspects range from 30-40 cm in depth and the top 5cm got pretty wet today. There was cold snow below and was supportable. I did not see any evidence of loose wet or wet slab potential on any sunny aspects nor observe any instability.

 Before skiing, I dug a pit on an East aspect. (See attached profile) The snowpack there consisted of multiple layers of windboard stacked upon one another in the upper third of the snowpack.  There were some moderate results on compression tests at hardness boundaries between the different layers. An extended column test (ECT) resulted in propagation, but just in the upper 5cm Pencil hard layer on the snow surface…otherwise known as a horrible breakable death crust.  Conditions in the more protected east and north trees are a mixed bag of a few great turns, some wind crusts and shallow zones.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

It was warm, above freezing at 1130 am above 11,000 feet. Only the due south and southwest aspects warmed up enough to provide some pseudo spring-like conditions. The southeast actually still harbored some cold snow and did not get heated up, at least where I was skiing today. Dead calm winds, to a light breeze in the afternoon on ridge tops made for quite a pleasant day out. Mono Lake was buried in an inversion most of the day with a thick cloud bank. It was super clear in the alpine and I could even see the back of Jobs Peak up by Tahoe.

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