Skinned up the Sherwins from the end of Old Mammoth Rd to check on new wind slab formation. Varying levels of wind crusts from last night and today’s winds were found in many places in all but the most sheltered terrain. Didn’t find anything concerning however until just below the ridgeline, where multiple extended hand-pit tests performed in areas with surface wind-crust/slabs failed with light force if not upon isolation.
The stiffest and most concerning wind slab I found is in the video below, just about 20 ft below the ridgeline. This kind of instability was limited to just below the ridgeline here.
These new windslabs here, although small, made me think that other spots would exist in more consequential terrain, especially where a slope may be unsupported, where a skier or boarder could trigger a wind slab and end up in an unhappy place.
Skinning was possible from the car, however, lots of scraping rocks and branches. At 9500′ and above, the snowpack depth increased significantly, especially in the subtle broad treed gullies where storm winds from Thursday gently deposited snow from the mid-slope ridges that were quite thinly covered and not too un-often bare to the ground. This video shows one such sheltered area, with some of the most consistent loose faceted old October and November snow that I’ve found yet:
Below 9,500′ skinning uphill was much easier than skiing downhill thur the quite thin snowpack, with lots of scrapping of rocks and logs and lots of kick turns. Looking forward to the next time I head up there when there’s a whole lot more snow!
breezy down low, but sustained consistent moderate SW winds over the ridge top in the late afternoon. Flurries began ~2:30, with just a trace on my car ~4:30pm.Close