Wheeler Crest-Witcher Bowl snow conditions

Witcher bowl
Submission Info
Monday, January 28, 2019 - 12:45pm
Wilcher Bowl 37° 30' 43.848" N, 118° 40' 30.1656" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

The snowpack from Swall Meadows up to the mouth of Witcher bowl was very wet, but supportable. Upon reaching 8600ft and traveling over softer snow surfaces on north aspects, the skinning became quite arduous with major glopping; skin wax was no help. Most of the due north and east aspects where wind shorn and firm with thin (3-4cm) to fairly robust (10-15cm) windboard surfaces. The NE aspect in the trees still held soft, moist windpacked powder that skied well on the way down. Skinning was the real booger today.  

HS: 125cm average

Upper snowpack (85cm) is consolidating on top of 40cm of rounding facets on the ground. Larger rounding (3-4mm) faceted striated cups were found adjacent to rock in one side of the snowpit. It highlighted the weakness of snow in cavities, shallow areas, and trees which can play a part in propagation of larger persistent avalanches as we saw in the natural avalanche that slid in the Sherwins (the perch) during the mid-January avalanche cycle.

The large avalanche that had been reported by a public observer that had initiated at the top of Witcher bowl had slid the whole length of the bowl and had taken out small trees. It had run close to 2600 vertical feet and the debris is still evident. This slide had also occurred during the mid-January avalanche cycle following our big storm.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Skies got progressively more overcast throughout the early afternoon and warm air tempertures (40F) at 9000ft made for super sticky skinning. I was sheltered on the east side of the ridge, but I could see the ridgeline trees whipping and hear the wind that was blowing around 30-40mph from the SW. Although there was not much solar input from 1100am on, the warm temperatures made the snow quite wet and slow from 9000ft down.

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