Wind transport on ridge tops, Close call with low coverage in VA lakes

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Red Lake Bowl
Submission Info
Forecaster
Friday, December 27, 2019 - 11:45pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
38° 2' 35.5704" N, 119° 16' 11.9964" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

A close call with some buried rocks cut our tour short today in the Virginia lakes area. Even still we made it to 10,500’ on the NE side of Black mountain near Red lake bowl. 15-25 cm of new snow was observed on the old skin track and storm totals closer to 45 cm in undisturbed areas.  Light winds had little to no effect on surface conditions in the basin through significant transport was observed on ridgetops.  I observed several natural loose dry sloughs but nothing sizeable.  No other signs of storm instabilities were observed on our tour today.

On the descent of our first lap, one in our party tangled with a rather large rock that was lightly buried under the surface. Only minor injuries were endured, and the party involved was able to ski themselves back to the car.  It certainly could have been much worse. Today was a good reminder that the snowpack is thin and preseason obstacles are still a real hazard. 40 cm of low-density snow has made coverage appear pretty good, and the high ski quality is very distracting. Its still early, slow it down and stay safe out there.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
North
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Sunny skies, light winds and cold temperatures made for a spectacular day today. Winds appeared to be more moderate along ridge tops. Significant flagging was observed throughout the area today.

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