Wheeler Crest tour

Chutes above Swall Meadows
Submission Info
Monday, February 11, 2019 - 12:00pm
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Swall Meadows 37° 30' 31.2948" N, 118° 39' 47.0628" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Variable wind crust, harder on N-NE aspects.  Where the crust was breakable, skis penetrated less than 5cm at 7000' up to 30cm at 10,000-11,000' below the crest.  Little penetration and some bare spots on the crest itself.

Snowpack photos: 
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

I went touring from Paradise (5000') up one of the east-facing chutes west of Swall Meadows and on to the summit of Wheeler Crest.  I saw some golfball- to occasionally softball-sized roller balls coming down the south-facing side of the couloir below 8000', but no natural avalanche activity nearby.  I did not trigger any slides myself, either skinning up in the morning, or skiing down around 2:00 PM.

The climb was laborious, with up to 30cm ski penetration higher up, and knee-deep boot penetration when I briefly tried taking off my skis.  The ski down was tricky up top, with unpredictably-breakable wind crust on NE/E/SE slopes in the couloir causing a few face-plants.  The snow from 8500' to 6800' was more pleasant, with consistent 10-20cm heavy powder.

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Cold (low 20s) when I started at 7:00 AM at 5000'.  Probably below freezing all day, though it was warm climbing the chute in the sun.  Calm winds in the couloir, becoming light to moderate along the crest around 1:00 PM.

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