Found a faceted snowpack in starting zones of the Mammoth Crest on a NE aspect at 10,600′. A significant new load (possibly tonight, especially where wind loaded) would likely cause a failure in the fist hard layer of near surface facets, which would likely erode into the underlying slightly harder layers of facets.
Unconsolidated near surface facets visible while skinning.
~1.5 inches of new snow from last night in sheltered areas ~9,600′.
~1.5-3 inches new snow depending on wind deposition ~10,500′.
Windy day today above treeline, moderate upslope out of the NE mid-slope, appearing more out of the SW over ridge top. Complete cloud cover by afternoon.
Temps: 34°F @ 9,200′ @ 11am. 27°F @ 10,600′ @ 1pm.
Hiked from the Duck Pass trailhead (9100′) up to 10,600′ near Hammil Bowl, booting the thin snowpack with skins mostly on above 10,000′ (The Lakes Basin gate is locked at the typical winter closure, but road is minimally covered with snow …at least for today). Mostly easy walking up to ~9600′ thru 1-2″ of new snow either on top of bare ground, frozen old snow, or a little harder ontop of deeper sugary pockets up to 1.5ft deep. Making it thru the talus fields at the base of the bowls was arduous with lots of post holing thru sugar snow up to the knee/thigh … not in a hurry to do that again! Overall snow depth from bottom to top of bowls between 40-80cm, with variable surfaces from crusty, to loose a sugary. Hopefully tonight’s storm will improve coverage and access, not much fun the way it is!