White Wing - snowpack, wind effects above treeline

White Wing
Submission Info
Sunday, December 27, 2020 - 12:00pm
37° 44' 10.4604" N, 119° 2' 22.9632" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up White Wing.  Cold cloudy day with very light snow flurries starting a little before noon, intensifying later in the afternoon.  Mostly calm winds except at uppermost elevations where there was a consistent light Easterly breeze (-10°C / 14°F at 9700' at noon ... cold!)).  Snow was wind-effected at tree-line, and down-right hammered above treeline with a patchwork of stripped firm pockets, sastruggi, and thin wind deposits (see photo for one of these thin wind deposits - Pencil hard slab ontop of Pencil Plus old snow ... planner shear with moderate force during handpit test).  Bare ground on SE facing slope of the east facing gully.   In northely facing trees snow was quite nice and supportable, but quite shallow with a thick layer of weak facets at the base.  See attached profile.  ECTN17 - failed in the top of the facet layer, but did not propagate (if there was a more substantial slab ontop of the facets I believe it would have propagated).  No signs of instability today during this mellow tour.

*Snowfall back in the town of Mammoth picked up dramatically around 2pm, at a rate of well over an inch an hour for a brief period with calm winds ... big fat flakes!

*Of note, signs are now up at the Chicken Wing parking area off 395 that prohibit wheeled vehicle access beyond the parking lot, so the approach is a bit longer now whichever way you choose to take.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
thin wind slab
-- placeholder --

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...