Virginia Lakes

Submission Info
Volunteer Observer
Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 4:45pm
38° 2' 18.8268" N, 119° 16' 41.3292" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Skied in the Virginia Lakes Basin today. Road is plowed to Trumbull Lake Campground still, and plows were actively working on the road today. Rose above the cloud bank shortly before the residential area and skied beneath blue skies all day. Climbed the SE gully on Dunderberg Peak and turned around due to deteriorating (warming) snow conditions. Old debris evident in the bottom of the gully. Rollerballs originating in rocks by 9:30 a.m. despite cold air temps. Snow surface becoming moist. Good coverage and great skiing for what we climbed. Crossed the canyon and climbed Red Lake Bowl area to Black Mountain. Cold dry snow over old wind slab for most of climb to Black. No cracking, whumphing or other signs of instability on ascent. Small cornice development and perhaps an old crown above rocks on ridge dividing South Peak and Black Mountain. Old debris on bench in bowl. Hand pits revealed 4-6 inch 4F+ windslab beneath a couple inches of newly fallen snow unaffected by wind. Widespread surface hoar on ridgetop and into main chute of Black Mountain's north face. Main chute on North Face of Black Mountain was beautiful powder barely covering rocks for at least first couple hundred feet. No windslab noted in upper part of chute. Retreated due to thin cover. Skied north facing shot in Red Lake Bowl off of ridge top. Windslab was mostly supportable but kept us guessing for most of the couple hundred feet we descended to the bottom of the bowl. Trees beneath bowl leading to lakes below held nice soft snow.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Clear skies at high elevation allowed for views north to the Sweetwater Mountains and up the crest to VA Peak. Looking south gave brief views of the White Mountains and as far south in the Sierra to Mt. Gabb. High clouds rolled in around 2 p.m. making for flat light conditions in the alpine. Cloud bank sat about 1/2 way up Conway Summit to about the residential area in VA lakes all day.

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