Wahoo Gullies, Mt. Locke

Submission Info
Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 12:15pm
Red Flags: 
37° 15' 35.8344" N, 118° 39' 2.7216" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Hiked, bushwhacked, skinned, and then booted to the top of the main Wahoo Gully on the NE aspect of Mt. Locke. Skis went on at about 9600' and coverage was pretty good above about 9800'. Warm "Februly" day. We wore thin layers with vents open on the ascent. But snow on N-NE-E aspects was cold and dry winter snow. The snowpack above about 10,100' went from about 1m deep to about 130cm (though it may have been deeper in places in the middle of the gully). The upper pack consisted primarily of thin (5 to 10cm) layers of previous wind deposited snow that ranged from K to 4F hard with 4F to F- hard facet layers in between. Pole probing made it feel like there are significantly soft and thick facet layers about 25cm down above a thick P hard layer, and then again there are soft facets below that layer to the ground (see snow grains photo). Several hand shears on the way up failed cleanly with moderate to hard force under the most recent wind crust (10cm thick) in a near crust facet layer. This largley faceted snowpack will probably become very sketchy if we get a significant new snowfall, but not until.

No other signs of instability today. So minor, local cracking with hard stomps on some kick turns (when the turn was in one of the new wind packed layers).

Very very warm: 7 deg C at 1220pm at 12100'. But again, the snow was still cold winter snow with significant temperature gradient in the upper pack driving near surface faceting. Same elevation and location as air temp: Tsurf = -5 deg C, T-20 = -9.5 deg C.

Coverage on E and W facing slopes visible from just below the summit of Locke was meager (see photo) but snow on those aspects seemed dry and wind affected, not wet and spring-like; no natural loose wet slides, not rollerballs from rocks, etc. We didn't observe any southerly aspects though.

Snowpack photos: 
Coverage Looking SE from below the summit of Mt. Locke
Well developed facets near from mid snowpack near the bottom of the gully
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 
-- placeholder --

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...