Wind Loading, recent avalanche activity, Snow conditions in Lee Vining

V Bowl
Submission Info
Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 2:15pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 55' 31.5048" N, 119° 11' 30.8976" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I went for a tour today in the lee vining area to get an idea of the impact of this recent storm on the more northern reaches of the range.  I left the car at around 10 o’clock this morning with about 4” of fresh snow on the road.  Skinning up v bowl I noted that the snow at lower elevations was already damp and relatively heavy.  below 9000' the old snow surface did not seem to have had a recent freeze and skinning had a crunchy feel to it. Above about  9000’ or so this changed and the surface snow was light and dry, and in many areas, a distinct MF crust could be found underneath the new snow. About 12” of new snow was observed above V Bowl. 

Looking up at the Dana Plateau I many debris fans, on the “End” as well as coming out of the steep couloir features, the largest of which was below the liberty chute.  The debris made me think these slides were likely loose dry sloughs but looking through binoculars I confirmed crown lines on many of them.  I even observed a loose dry point release lookers’ left of Coke chute and another powder cloud in the chute lookers’ left of the “Gutter Chute”.  Significant bannering was evident off of the plateau as well and I suspect the wind was playing an active role in most of these events.  From what I observed these slides were size D1.5 at the largest. 

Digging a quick pit on a NE aspect at 9500’ I found 12” of loose fist hard dry powder on top of an MF crust.  While there was not much of a slab in this surface snow the interface was smooth and Loose dry seemed to be the largest concern at this location.  Numerous hand sheers on my ascent confirmed the same thing. The lower in elevation I got the heavier the surface snow felt and the new snow was bonding far better to the old. No wumphing was observed on my tour today and only localized cracking was noted on small wind affected test slopes.

Active shedding kept me from venturing into high elevation or steep terrain today but it was a beautiful day in the Sierra the turns down V bowl were very enjoyable.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Light snow showers gave way to mostly cloudy skies this morning. Temperatures were relatively warm today and winds were moderate out of the SW.


10:20- @7600’, Light SW Wind gusting Mod, obscured skies, S-1, HNS=6”, 1.5°C

12:30- @9600’, Mod SW Wind, Broken skies, NO Precip, HNS=12”, -2.5° C

1:20- @7400’, Light SW Wind, Broken Skies, NO Precip, HNS=4”, 4.5°C

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