Weather, snowpack & avalanche conditions Mini Morrison

Mini Morrison
Submission Info
Friday, December 14, 2018 - 3:15pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
Terrain Trap
37° 35' 6.1584" N, 118° 50' 3.9048" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

It was good to get out and feel the full power of the weather and mountains today. John Muir would have approved. To say the least it was WINDY. I got blown over a few times and toured in goggles, and by late afternoon the winds abated a bit that I could continue on. At points I considered aborting the tour all together because of the sandblasting affect, but was glad to stick with it. Old mans bowl was almost completely stripped in areas and in the gut it was around 45-60 cm of faceting snow capped with varying degrees of windboard. The east facing gullies on Mini Morrison harbored primarily faceting snow around 30-60 cm deep. Textured areas were soft and other smoother sections were supportable thin wind slab over facets. There were active cascading streams of windblown snow streaming off the cliffs and down the center of the gullies (see attached video).  The snowpack structure is variable and weak up high in the steep terrain- it will be interesting to see what happens with the next larger loading event. There was one small avalanche that had slid at the bottom of the skiers right side gully on a convex roll. The slab was 10" in depth, 50' wide and ran 75' vertical. It appeared to be a wind slab or potentially an area where a lot of accumulated streaming snow had been deposited after it moved down the main east gully. The slab (Pencil hard) had slid on a 2-3cm (Fist) layer of faceted snow on the ground. When I ski cut adjacent to the previous slide it propagated immediately and filled the gully. Deposition was around 2-3' deep. All the east gullies run into a major terrain trap so travelling wisely is a must. Snow in the sage brush is just barely deep enough to travel on to access and egress the mini morrison zone.

Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Gale Force
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Winds were consistently blowing 40-50mph and gusting to 70 or perhaps more. Direction was all over the place with the local terrain pushing currents of air in nearly every direction and stripping and moving snow throughout the landscape. Skies were nearly completely obscured and temperatures were relatively mild, but the wind and blowing snow made it feel quite cold.  It was interesting to observe what extreme winds will do, there certainly was not one prevailing wind direction amongst the terrain I traveled in today. 

-- placeholder --

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...